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Mar 10, 2008

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Bob Robinson

It seems that the general consensus among economists about why we are experiencing an increase disparity between the poor and the rich in America is a combination of technological advances and globalization. Automation means that companies can make the same products with fewer workers, and the emergence of a global work force means that they don't have to make those products here anymore. As a result, wages for high-school graduates, who used to be able to get factory jobs have suffered while highly educated workers have become increasingly valuable to companies seeking any intellectual advantage in an increasingly competitive world.

Economic inequality is inevitable in this situation, though Christians should be on the front edge (in the vanguard!) of dealing with the ramifications of this societal trend. Income inequality has always caused great societal upheaval. What will Christians do to be salt and light in this situation?

Michael W. Kruse

The inevitable outcome of economic change is that there will be some winners and some losers. Some folks are going to lose their jobs. Some of these folks are going to go on to get better jobs. Some blue collar workers are going into fields like healthcare and making higher wages.

Without falling into a false notion that we can ever have perfect outcomes, I agree with you that we need to consider how we can minister to the person who has worked for years in one field and finds themselves without a job. What personal support does such a person? What is the governments role (Local? State? Federal?) in training or transition assistance, especially when regionally concentrated insdustries wither? It is a complex question.

Ephena

I don't honestly see how anybody can make the claim that there are less poor people or even that the overall state of the nation for the average American is not in decline. When I was a kid, for example my parents bought a home for $12,000 and sold it 6 years later for $50,000. That's good appreciation and a good investment return. My home today has lost 15% of it's value in the past year. I fer our days of affluence as a nation are coming to a close for all but the most priviliged.

Michael W. Kruse

We can't reason from individual circumstances too societal trends. There are always winners and losers at any given time in the market. Furthermore, there are always going to be reversals and corrections in the economy. The focus is on the long view. Broad measures trump anecdotal stories with these type of questions.

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