If you haven't been following the conversation around Occupy Wall
Street, it's perhaps best summarized in terms of the Tumblrs.
First there were the 99 percent, who have been demonstrating in
New York and elsewhere for weeks.
The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism by Robert William Fogel
Robert William Fogel, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago,won the 1993 Nobel Prize for his economic history of slavery. His latest book identifies the great awakenings in American religion as the source of the nation's major progressive economic and political changes.
The common good is taking a beating. Economic inequality has accelerated dramatically since the early 1980s, and many think nothing can be done about it. But that verdict is a nonstarter for Christian morality.
In 1969, I dropped out of college, moved to Racine, Wisconsin, and worked for a community action program and then for a welfare rights organization. The focus of my work was tenants’ rights—helping tenants negotiate with landlords over things like rent and housing violations. Among my many indelible memories from that year was the situation of a family with six children.
The story of the widow’s mite offers a profound contrast between two types of temple worshipers. But we often misinterpret the reason for Christ’s comparison. He is not preaching a lesson in personal piety and sacrificial giving—although pastors like to use this story during stewardship campaigns. It is critical that we hear instead an indictment of the preference we show to the rich and successful.
To worry publicly about the increasing disparities of wealth and income in this country is to invite the charge of fomenting “class warfare.” Nevertheless, consider: Top CEOs earn 1,000 times the pay of an average worker—a ratio that has increased exponentially in the past three decades.