The Poor you will always have with you. Matt 26:11
So, what are we going to do about it?
Let’s put off discussion, for the time being, of the full Law of Consecration / United Order. That might be the only solution, but I want to exhaust others first.
Ok, we have a problem, and that problem will likely get worse in coming years and decades.
Education has become more about status signaling and indoctrination, and outrageous debt, than actually about learning. And higher-ed is a bubble waiting to pop. So education isn’t going to solve all of our problems. On the flip side, the movement best suited to popping that bubble, and providing actual need, is online education, and the Church just expanded its online education program.
Meritocracy is better than aristocracy, nepotism or socialism (and a great many more -isms), but it has problems of its own.
“Chris Hayes, in his new book Twilight of the Elites, makes a deeper point, that meritocracy is not just hypocritical, it is also incompetent. Hayes blames meritocracy for the Iraq war, the financial crisis, even the steroid scandal in Major League Baseball. “As American society grows more elitist, it produces a worse calibre of elites.” How can that be? How can the ideal of promoting the best and the brightest lead to disaster? Mostly, Hayes tells us, because meritocracy creates elites that are utterly self-serving.”
And elsewhere, “That’s the tendency within meritocracies for the cognitive elite to become a self-perpetuating oligarchy.” Of course, it is the Elites of today that have given us such an interesting election.
The Robot Revolution and the continuing Computer Revolution threaten a wide swath of jobs, most physical labor and a lot of skilled, educated labor as well. It is often argued that we have been here before, and that we will just have more and different kinds of jobs, but there are good arguments for why it is different this time. And even if it isn’t, change may be so rapid, that the economy and job market won’t have time to adapt. Wired just had a nice article on why AI will hollow out the middle class.
The Democrats are not going to help, unless it helps their voting base. But I don’t think Trump is a pancaea either, even if he has done a few right things. And the even if Trump was Mother Teresa, I am not sure how much he will be allowed to do. Technology and science will also be mute to our suffering.
- Meritocracies generate self-serving oligarchies,
- Not everyone is a cognitive elite, or even set up to prosper in a knowledge economy, and
- Robots may take all our jobs anyway, except for a steadily shrinking portion. At least 2 of these 3 are only going to get worse in coming years.
- Education, as it is, isn’t a solution
- Politics…… uh… no. That isn’t going to help either.
So, that tells me there isn’t anyone out there with a real solution. That means it is up to us, as saints of the Most High. What are we going to do about the poor, and about the rest of us?