Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Yesterday morning when I started my car, I was met by National Public Radio and the voice of a man giving a report to a “Madame President”. The report was regarding the distribution of wealth in the United States. The more I listened, the “snarkier” I became. I’m going to share what I heard on the radio but you may want to do your own research to get verification as well as perspective. (I found a webpage “Who Rules America?” by a Professor William Domhoff at the University of California at Santa Cruz which shares all sorts of data and graphs. The article presented, entitled “Power in America – Wealth, Income and Power” gave me a better understanding of a problem that isn’t new. What’s new may be the disappearance of the “middle” as well as a growing inequality of political representation.)
The report I stumbled onto via NPR gave the following statistics (numbers may not be exact – please do your own checking!):
The top 1% owns about 38% of the wealth.
The bottom 60% owns about 2.3% of the wealth.
1 family owns more than the bottom 50%. (Walton Family $147 billion -2013)
(2nd - The Koch brothers $100 billion)
95% of new growth goes to the top 1%.
The report (via NPR) was not only sharing statistics regarding the inequality of wealth distribution but the impact this inequality has on the political process and representation.
I have to admit, I was beside myself with outrage when I turned off the radio. And…I noticed my initial rage was directed at the “have’s” for “having”. (Which is interesting because I'm not sure I really care about "having"...I think it's more about power.) However, I could feel my blame was misdirected…that it didn’t match what I really believe regarding freedom, responsibility and claiming my power. After all, who supported this imbalance? Who allowed the political system to become so biased? I (we) did……
Most of us live our lives on automatic pilot. We follow our routines, make the same choices, do the same things as we follow some unconscious patterning that resides in our subconscious. We don’t like things…in fact, we disagree with things much of the time…but we continue doing the same things anyway. We rush, rush, rush…too tired to make choices to our liking…choices that might shift the path of our experience…but we’re just…too…tired. And because we’ve been just…too…tired…(exhausted from resisting our own truth)…we have what we have today. Luckily, we’ve awakened…
It seems essential that we begin to take responsibility for what’s happening. The only way to shift “inequality” and bring about a sense of balance is to claim our own power. (No one can give you power.) We have to make conscious choices. If we don’t like the way things are then we have to choose differently. We have to support things which align with what we really know deep in the core of our being.
When we support companies that don’t treat their employees “fairly”…companies which make billions of dollars in profit while paying their employees the least possible…we support the growing chasm in wealth distribution. When we vote for representatives who are owned by the money that supports them…who are not “independent thinkers”...we support inequality. When we don’t do our homework before we “vote” – as a consumer or as a citizen – we help support and maintain that which we probably complain about on a daily basis. All of this is absolutely “ok”…but let’s make it a conscious choice…let’s know what we’re supporting…and own it.
If we really want “something different” then we have to behave differently. We have to claim our power which means taking responsibility for our choices. In the end, it is We the People which have the final say. We are not owned by a government or a small group of people. We always have a choice where we place our “vote” and what we support. The only way balance is reached and sustained is if each person claims their own power, consciously makes their choices and takes responsibility. When each person follows their own inner “rightness”, a new system is created and a natural set of “checks and balances” is inherent. We have reached a time when the “veil of ignorance” has been removed. We no longer have excuses.