This from Mother Jones:
A huge share of the nation's economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90% of us ? $31, 244.
The richest 10% controls 2/3 of American's net worth.
From 2007 through 2009 Wall Street profits soared 720%. Unemployment rose 102%. American's home equity dropped 35%.
The average CEO pay is 185 times bigger than the average worker.
In 1985, THE FORBES 400 were worth $221 billion combined. Today, they're worth $1.13 trillion -- more than the GDP of Canada. The median household income has meanwhile stagnated at around $44, 000.
In 2005, there were 9 million American millionaires. In 2005, 25.7 million Americans received food stamps.
A minimum wage employee who works 40 hours a week for 51 weeks a year goes home with $10, 506 before taxes. Such a worker would take 7000 years to earn Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's yearly compensation.
And this from John Steinbeck (author of The Grapes of Wrath):
"Our royalists really think they own the world."
Now this from St Basil:
"The rich take what belongs to everyone, and claim they have a right to own it, to monopolize it."
Virtually every American and virtually every State in the Union is struggling to survive -- excepting the super-rich. So why not ask the trillion dollar question? Forget getting rid of the infamous Bush tax-cuts. Why not ask the super-rich to come to the aid of America and Americans? Why not ask them to just give us the two trillion or so they've got stashed away? They've scored a mighty big hit on America -- so why can't they ask what they can do for their country?
Can't we promise them, when things turn around and the middle-class is thriving again, that we'll build a monument for them in the National Mall?
Sutra of Possibility
In your imagination
can your heart embrace all of creation?
Now, can you imagine
new possibilities besides?
In your imagination
can you touch the cause of the hummingbird's
Now, can you imagine
the atom's secret attraction besides?
is the possibility that you can.
For better or worse, we live in a time in which imagination is not understood to be a core human (interbeing) characteristic... a characteristic, though, that needs to be nurtured and developed in every child and then appreciated when they have matured into adults. Imagination is, with compassion, the essential characteristic we have inherited from the Divine. Imagination is the Sacred Key to unlocking and releasing divinity once again into our experience of community. Religion especially needs the liberation imagination can give! The "principalities and powers" of which Paul wrote in the christian scriptures will pass away -- for power is meant to serve not to oppress! As they grasp for more and more wealth and propagandize themselves silly, imagination will free the rest of us into our possibilities -- and into communities of equality, and justice and peace.
Question: What is the greatest sin and the greatest virtue?
Saint Anandamayi Ma: Forgetfulness of God is the greatest sin; His constant remembrance is the greatest virtue.
Monopoly capitalism is perhaps the dominant collective form of forgetfulness of our time. Of course, the violent support system that it requires for its dominance, is another manifestation of forgetfulness. The world-wide network of power politics depends upon our cultural commitment to forgetfulness...
When we remember our divine origin and destiny we activate our lives! In eighteen days of remembrance -- the dictator of 30 years in Egypt -- was driven from power! Remembrance makes a new world everywhere possible! There is no law that says the rich must get richer and the poor poorer. There is no law that says tens of thousands of children must starve to death every year. There is no law that says we must destroy the ecology of this precious planet. There is no law that says billions of dollars be spent on weapons of mass destruction and oppression every year. We can, in fact, choose to remember and to be agents of true freedom and liberation for all peoples and every person. We can, each one of us, become super-heroes!
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.