We have been considering in a number of recent daily meditations the reality of our current economic/political status and fresh ideas for a more just, sustainable, earth friendly and human friendly economics.

The rise of income inequality in the U.S., 1947-2007. Graph uploaded to Flickr by Joe Wolf.

We live in a system that rewards those who are super wealthy and ignores those who are struggling to survive.  A system where a “supreme” court declares that corporations are persons that have the right to spread as much money as they wish into elections to make their “voice” heard. 

At the same time there is no relief to speak of for persons who want to vote by mail and political party chieftains, who themselves vote by mail, deny the same for those who are afraid to go to the polls.  The majority in the “supreme” court, meeting on zoom, with smirks on their faces deny the very gift of voting safely during a pandemic to millions and millions of people. 

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, with the New Deal president’s warning against oligarchy. Photo by Navin75 on Flickr.

Meanwhile, 32 million persons have lost their jobs because of the greatest epidemic in over 100 years and the grotesque chasm between have and have nots grows larger and larger by the day.  It is the have-nots who find themselves most on the front line during the pandemic and dying at three and four times the rate of those who can stay at home.  And most are minorities.

Here is a fact to ponder: During the pandemic—yes because of the pandemic plus tax breaks that both politicians and judges granted to the richest 3 % in our country–the wealth of billionaires has risen by $565 billion. 

Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, has watched his wealth soar by nearly $1.72 billion dollars during the months of the pandemic.  Now I do not want to focus on the ethics or the personality of Mr. Bezos, Mr. Gates, or Mr. Buffet or any other billionaires whose wealth has soared while tens of millions are out of work and lucky to have a modest relief of maybe $600 per week. 

“Porkpie Pig’s Citizens United” Creative commons poster created by amerigus, posted to Flickr by WWYD?

I am not focusing on persons and personalities and individuals who rise and fall in this system however.  I am talking about a system.  What kind of an economic system is this that is so oblivious to the obvious falsity, hypocrisy, immorality of economics as we know it? 

What about our educational institutions?  What values are taught there?  Do economics classes in our vaunted universities teach about eco-justice; racial justice; economic justice; gender justice; the common good? 

Do they teach about its opposite:  Greed, destruction of the environment, destruction of community?  Is survival of the fittest their biggest stab at value education?  Do they teach about the future of our children?  About the homeless?  Do they teach anything about values and the common good?  Or only about the ONE value of making the most money you can no matter who is destroyed in the process?

All these questions shed light on the future of economics and the outdated past. 

See Matthew Fox, Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society.

Banner Image: “Citizens United by Kai.” Photo by wiredforlego; mural by Kai, on Flickr

Do you see the old economics fading and new ones coming into being?  How would you characterize each?  How are you contributing to the transformation?

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3 thoughts on “A New Economics, continued”

  1. Avatar

    I’m Reading Naomi Klein’s book, the shock doctrine. The economic Ideas promulgated
    by American economists have done so much damage in the rest of the world. We really need to repent of that.

    1. Avatar
      Thomas Strauss

      I was deeply affected, Matthew, when you mentioned the possibility of a collective DEATH WISH on the part of Trump and his cohorts. Deep inside me I was sensing the truth of what you said. If at all possible, would you talk about that at greater length?!!!!
      In friendship, Tomius

      1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
        Richard Reich-Kuykendall

        Thank you for your comments Tomius, and I will see to it that Matthew gets your suggestion…

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