Barry’s Gleanings: “The Birth of the New American Aristocracy”

We know that the income gap is growing in the U.S.  More and more people are having to work two or three jobs just to break even each month.  If you miss one payment on our credit card, your  interest can jump to 23% or more (as young people we know have found out).    Before the previous U.S. government regulations stopped it, Wells Fargo, for instance, was allowed to charge 300% interest!   Now the the current U.S. administration is proposing to let banks return to giving high interest small loans.   We talk about the 1% in the U.S. who have most of the money – and we want them to change, to be compassionate, to be fair.

But what if we (yes, I’m including you – and me – who have time to read this instead of working an extra job) were part of the problem?  What if we are in the 9.9% who keep the other 90% down?  The article, “The Birth of the New American Aristocracy” by Matthew Stewart in the June 2018 issue of The Atlantic, makes me reflect on the unearned benefits in my life.  Awareness is the first step toward change.  Read this article and see what you think – and consider what you can do.

Read:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-birth-of-a-new-american-aristocracy/559130/

Instead of just blaming the 1%, we could be doing more – much more – to promote justice and equality.

Wealth Gap

FILE – In this Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, file photo, Occupy Wall Street protesters join a labor union rally in Foley Square before marching on Zuccotti Park in New York’s Financial District. The richest Americans got richer during the first two years of the economic recovery while average net worth declined for the other 93 percent of U.S. households, says a report released Tuesday, April 23, 2013. The report is the latest to point up financial inequality that has been growing among Americans for decades, a development that helped fuel the Occupy Wall Street protests. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)Image from: https://www.theatlantic.com/membership/archive/2018/06/the-masthead-discusses-a-new-american-aristocracy/562760/

Aloha, Renée

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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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