Thursday, November 14

Have you seen this video? Wow!

In my regular course of working with many international clients and non-profit leaders, I encounter a myriad of social issues that make me pause and think about the world in a different light.  But then there are the issues that weigh so heavily on my conscience that I cannot stop turning the new information over in my head at night.  This video explores one such topic.  Have you seen it?

We have heard the term "99%-ers" so often in the media that we may have already become numb to what it really means.  Did you know that the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the United States own over 40% of the nation's wealth?  Did you know that their share has tripled in the last 30 years?  These numbers are staggering, almost incomprehensible.  Watch the video again and really try to grasp the significance.

What I find most challenging about this issue is the many implications this has for day-to-day life for everyone in our society.  Do you have an adult son or daughter who cannot afford to move into his/her own home?  How is that impacting your plans to be an empty-nester?  Or are you someone who is now faced with the daunting task of paying for your elderly parents, who once thought they would rely on their pension or other savings during retirement? Or are you a 1%-er who is struggling to raise normal, motivated children in a reality where they don't actually have to work hard, be independent or learn the value of money in order to do well, as Malcolm Gladwell describes in his new book David and Goliath? Are you nervous that your great success will be their downfall?

In my work, I am a problem-identifier but also a problem-solver, which may be why I can't move on from this issue.  It is hard to imagine a solution to the problem given the rapid trajectory of the disparity.  (That's not to say that some aren't trying radical approaches, like paying being people to be alive.). Yet, what I have found with some of my toughest clients is that often, just opening up a meaningful dialogue, bringing issues to the simultaneous attention of the charismatic decision-makers and the introverted strategic thinkers, and allowing the weaker voices a chance to articulate their concerns and demonstrate the impact on the entire organization, is the key to generating meaningful change.  It is my hope through sharing this video to get you to start thinking and talking about this issue with your own friends, family and colleagues and realizing how the impact of wealth disparity runs both wide and deep.  

No comments: