#57 – Sink or Swim

If our species could come to appreciate the profound implications of the distinction between the two behaviors of inclusion and exclusion we could avoid a lot of egregious suffering. Economist and author Robert Reich expresses his concern about the increasing numbers of Americans “excluded” from the fruits of our economic largesse. “The shift from farm to factory featured decades of bloody labor conflict; the move from factory to office and other sedentary jobs caused more upheaval. What will happen when robots push most people out of steady work and into lower-wage gig jobs? I doubt we’ll see a revolution. A more likely scenario is a slow slouch toward authoritarianism and xenophobia. We may already be there.” (1)

As the gap between the 10% and the rest of us grows many of us may feel that we have been excluded from America’s successful economy. It’s not that the 90% aren’t working or deserving of sharing the wealth. “According to the Brookings Institution, in 2016 one-third of those living in poverty were children, 11 percent were elderly and 24 percent were working-age adults (18-64) in the labor force, working or seeking work. The majority of working-age people connected to the labor market were part-time workers.” (2)

We now have a gig economy for most people. We are not a nation of freeloaders and work-shirkers. “Nearly 80 percent of adult Americans say they live from paycheck to paycheck, many not knowing how big their next paycheck will be.” (1)  One inclusive solution which will distribute America’s GDP more equitably would be the U.B.I. or universal basic income.

Giving each American $1,000 a month would eliminate poverty in America since poverty for adults is defined as having an income of less than $12,000 annually. “It would also improve the bargaining power of millions of low-wage earners—forcing employers to increase wages, add benefits and improve conditions in order to retain them. If a U.B.I. replaced specific programs for the poor, it would also reduce government bureaucracy, minimize government interference in citizen’s lives and allow people to avoid the stigma that accompanies government assistance.” (1)  Now that is thinking outside the box.

But man does not live by bread alone and needs food for the soul. The compassion expressed in acts of inclusion is just such a food. After finding support for her own transgender transition, Molly Palmer began volunteering for Trans Lifeline on their hotline which offers transgender peer support. “Sometimes the calls are really, really hard and sometimes they are a little lighter. I always finish and feel enriched about connecting with my community.” (3)

What if inclusion were to become a core value in the Global Village? Click on the link below to pursue what that might mean to our troubled species.

Insight # 57: Each of us chooses many times during our lifetime to be a creator or a destroyer of Creation, including ourselves.

Link:

References:

  1. Reich, Robert B. “Barely Afloat in America.” The New York Times Book Review. July 15, 2018, page 20.
  2. Desmond, Matthew. “Why Work Doesn’t Work Anymore.” The New York Times Magazine. September 16, 2018, page 41.
  3. Mzezewa, Tariro. “Portland Oregon.” The New York Times Sunday. October 21, 2018, page 15.

 

 

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