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Posted on May 24, 2012
By Jim Jordal
"I denounce especially the absolutizing of wealth. This is the great evil in El Salvador; wealth, private property, as an untouchable absolute. Woe to the one who touches that high tension wire. It burns."
Archbishop Oscar Romero, protesting the Salvadoran oligarchy
The Russian Czars did it. So did the French monarchy before the French Revolution. So did the English mercantilists in their oppression of the American colonies. And so do the world’s wealthy, powerful elite today.
I’m referring to the absolutization of wealth, or the idea that wealth once gotten (whether legitimately or not) belongs forever to the possessors. In the modern world this belief, popularized by the writings of English philosopher John Locke, takes the form of absolute rights to private property unrestricted by government regulation, conservation ethics, decency for workers, and just plain common sense.
Posted on May 04, 2012
By Jim Jordal
Historian James Truslow Adams coined the phrase the "American Dream" in The Epic of America during the dark days of the Great Depression in 1931. His hope was to rekindle the fires of innovation and hope for those who had seemingly lost their way in the economic debacle. He believed that life for Americans should include not necessarily riches or great possessions, but the opportunity for social mobility based upon ability and achievement.
"The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement….It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position," said Adams.
Posted on April 16, 2012
The reality of poverty here in Minnesota is huge, and growing. It can often be overwhelming to hear the stories. The statistics. It’s understandable that many of us find ourselves feeling anxious, indifferent, angry, at a loss. Our ability to make a difference or affect change seems naïve.At A Minnesota Without Poverty, we believe that each of us can make a difference. And we believe that people working together to become informed about the reality of poverty and the issues that affect poverty can make a huge difference, and can affect tremendous change. We offer this “What’s enough?” series in response to and in support of the remarkable work begun by faith leaders and the Minnesota State Legislature in the mid/late 2000s. It draws much of its material from the original 2020 ENOUGH FOR ALL: A Discussion Guide for People of Faith. We hope that it will be useful in providing one way for people in faith communities to begin talking about the concept of “enough”, to more fully understand the issues of poverty here in our state, and to be energized in imagining ENOUGH FOR ALL in “A Minnesota Without Poverty!”
Any or all portions of this discussion guide may be reproduced without prior permission, provided the source is cited. A Minnesota Without Poverty. What’s enough?