Part 7 of Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Changeconcerns the “equity” system, the system’s ability to balance resources among its people. The question that animates part 7 is this: Why are the poor poor?
The question for today and week: Assuming global and local inequity, what is the Christian response to inequities? Seems easy to answer — is it easy to answer?
The equity system attempts to regulate the prosperity system. And this equity system has four major dysfunctions:
1. It is programmed by the dominant framing story.
2. It is rigged to work for the insiders.
3. It was created for the nation-state in the industrial age.
4. It should not be expected that the equity system will change the system by which the rich insiders prosper.
There is a rising resentment — hate and fear — by the poor against the world’s rich.
Here are some figures Brian trots out:
1. The richest 1% own almost 50% of the total wealth; the richest 5% owns 70%.
2. In 2000 the G8 countries contributed 3% of the GDP; during that time the poor countries contributed back 6.3% of their GDP to the G8 countries to pay for debts. (The poor countries fell further behind.)
3. 6 million children die per year of starvation; that’s a holocaust every year.
4. The average Anglo is worth 5.5 times the average African American in the USA.
5. CEOs income to the average worker: In 1960 it was 12 to 1; today it is 301 to 1.
In the hearts of many poor the operative disposition is revolution.