Issue 3 (Spring 2011) of B Beyond Magazine. From the Editor’s Letter:
2011 heralds a decade of economic austerity in Europe and North America. A fairly grim and dreary blanket of counter-anticipation has descended upon the stalwarts of civilization and ‘First World’ developed countries. In stark contrast, the developing countries of decades past are consolidating their position as the global power brokers.
Economic volatility has always produced prejudice-whipping rhetoric that obliterates any philanthropic leanings among the middle classes. The upper and lower classes, in fact, have always met at the extremes – it is the vast middle class (lower to truly middle) that tends to become less philanthropically or, rather, less magnanimously minded in trying times.
The fairly comfortable off, however, should do well to remember that the dividing line between them and the have-nots is often just a few pay cheques away.
The much paraphrased Samuel Johnson quote holds true in both times of prosperity and hardship: ” A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilization.”
The Rulers of the Universe should do well to remember this too – because, in the privately spoken words of a contemporary Wall Street legend, “Hubris has its consequences”.