How Can We Stop Escalating Inequality?

We live in a time of escalating inequality. Many of you are acutely concerned about this escalation and the rise of poverty, homelessness, and wealth inequality specifically: during our Social Justice discernment process, you expressed deep concern for these issues.

How, as Unitarian Universalists, are we called to address extreme inequality and foster economic justice? Our congregation joins others across the country in studying and acting on this question, as our denomination works on crafting an official “Statement of Conscience” on escalating inequality.

Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary, proposes these actions to address inequality:

  1. Make work pay, by raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, pegging it to inflation; abolishing the tipped minimum wage; and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  2. Unionize low-wage workers.
  3. Invest in education.
  4. Invest in infrastructure.
  5. Pay for these investments with higher taxes on the wealthy.
  6. Make the payroll tax progressive.
  7. Raise the estate tax and eliminate the “stepped-up basis” for determining capital gains at death.
  8. Constrain Wall Street
  9. Give all Americans a share in future economic gains.
  10. Get big money out of politics.

You can read his full argument here. Do you agree with these ideas? What would you add or take away? Join us at a screening of Reich’s film, Inequality For All, on Sunday, January 31, and plan to stay after for discussion and theological reflection.

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