Saturday, May 21, 2005

Class and American Mobility

If you read The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, likely you have noticed the recent articles on class in the United States and the impact it has on just about every aspect of life in our nation.

John Greenan, one of our lawyers and the Executive Director of our Community Development Corportation, pointed me to an extremely interesting web address that looks at the issues of class and mobility.

To take a look go to:

As always, I would benefit from your responses.

Personal note: a combination of factors have prevented me from writing on a daily basis this week. I hope to get back to the schedule next week. Thanks for hanging with me!

1 comment:

Jeremy Gregg said...

That's a really fascinating site....

One of the largest disparities that I found was that 55% of people who make over $150,000 per year describe their health as "excellent," compared to 18% of those with incomes under $30,000. In other words, those who can least afford to become sick are those who are most likely to be sick.

This ties directly to the previously cited study indicating that poor persons with healthy lifestyles are more likely to be in worse health than well-to-do smokers with additional unhealthy behaviors.

Interestingly, this same comparison indicates that only 54% of the wealthiest people think that having faith in God is important, compared to 79% of our country's poorest people. I would be interested to see what the newly formed Institute for Faith Health Research - Dallas will uncover along these lines.

To what extent does faith affect health? Or, on the other side, what is the impact of living in physical sickness and economic poverty on having faith in God?

My initial reaction is fairly simple: those who suffer are more easily drawn to the hope and promise provided by faith. Larry, you have talked a lot about this, and about the emphasis that poor churches place on a distant "heaven."

However, another part of me begins to wonder -- does living in poverty, suffering the burdens of this world, somehow free one from the ties to this world? Does worldly pain somehow bring us, intentionally or otherwise, closer to God? Can the poor somehow tap into the suffering and compassion of Christ by living, in some ways, closer to the reality of death?

I am not sure. It is probably some combination of the two, plus many other things that I -- in my life of privilege, advantage, health and struggling faith -- cannot see.