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Yes, the American dream still lives on! But …

Lee A. Daniels | 12/16/2013, 7:55 a.m.
Lee A. Daniels is a longtime journalist based in New York City. His most recent book is Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America. He collaborated with Rachel Robinson on her 1998 book, Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait. NNPA

• New research showing the astonishing growth of income inequality in American society,

• New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s proposal to increase the taxes on the city’s wealthiest resident in order to fund improvements in the public schools. A new poll shows the idea has drawn widespread support from residents – including conservative and wealthy residents – of both New York City and the state.

• The increasing attention being paid to the predicament of food stamp recipients, who face severe cutbacks in their monthly allotments on top of one they already suffered this month.

• And, lastly, there was Pope Francis, in a lengthy official, and startling, document issued two days before Thanksgiving, sharply criticizing the “idolatry of money” and the conservative “trickle-down theories” of economics for having helped usher in a “globalization of indifference” to the plight of the poor.

Those criticisms, embedded in the 200-plus page missive, were clearly a call for efforts to reduce the degree of income inequality in Europe and the United States as part of a broader campaign to make compassion a central part of nations’ and individuals’ approach to solving problems.

These and other developments raise the question: Are we witnessing the development of a “critical mass” of individuals and institutions of diverse philosophical views, that’s ready to redress at least some of the causes of the dangerous increase of poverty and income inequality?

Now, that would be a dream worth working for, in the United States and abroad.

Lee A. Daniels is the author of Last Chance: The Political Threat to Black America.