The Dow closed the week at a record high. And all those
billionaires? They're barely even an exclusive club anymore, what with
442 in the U.S. in 2012 and almost a thousand more than that globally, a jump of 200 in a single year, Forbes data shows.
So why is it OK for working Americans to go hungry? Why in the midst
such affluence for the wealthy do we, as a nation, simply turn our back
on those struggling, even when they are lucky enough to land a job and
work for a living?
To me, it is the shrug with which most Americans seem to greet such
questions today that offers the most alarming evidence we live in a
broken and declining society. Sure, each month we wait with anticipation
for the job growth and unemployment data. Today public radio was abuzz
with excitement at the better-than-anticipated numbers for new job creation in October.
I'm all for success; we need a whole lot more. But why do we barely
notice the figures about failure -- not the failure of individuals, but
the failure of a society to take care of its children, its disabled, its
old people? The failure of that society -- our society -- to even
acknowledge it's wrong to let people starve in the midst of affluence.