"We need to raise our consciousness about class. And yes, I am looking at you." — Richard V. Reeves
It's very difficult to talk about the class divisions within "the 99 percent." In "Stop Pretending You're Not Rich," economist Richard V. Reeves highlights the tension between desires for greater social equality and desires to give our own families a competitive edge. Reeves calls this competitive edge "dream hoarding" when applied to the top 20 percent of Americans: those with incomes above six figures.
In global context, invoking "the 20 percent" is only slightly less arbitrary than invoking "the one percent." And debates about how to address inequality tend to get stuck at the level of theory.
But there's an immediate, practical home remedy for "dream hoarding" that leverages small financial actions to bring about big changes. Just-giving — simple and fair, with modifications as appropriate — becomes possible when we set aside a regular percentage of income as our giving rate. Consider this:
- The average American giving rate has hovered steadily around 2 percent since 1971. (By comparison, a tithe is a 10 percent giving rate.)
- Giving rates usually shrink as incomes increase. Let's change that!
Want to bring your social justice values into alignment with your financial goals? Include Generous Justice in your summer reading! As recommended in Tablet Magazine, "It’s a guide to social action and philanthropy, and a tool for spiritual growth—a breath mint and a candy mint."
In the comfort of your own home, or while relaxing on vacation, you can stretch mindfully toward the giving rate that's best for you and your family: your fair share with the rest of the world.
Those in NYC can purchase Generous Justice directly from Ways of Peace, without sales tax or shipping charges. Learn more about bringing a Generous Justice event to your community.