The OECD has 31 members. In social justice, we rank #27. This depressing news is contained in “Social Justice in the OECD”, released 25 October 2011, and presented by Charles Blow in the NYT.
Our social justice score is at the 16th percentile of OECD countries, 5.7 out of 10 points, when top scores are close to 9. Only four countries scored lower: Greece, Chile, Mexico, Turkey. Only two countries, Mexico and Chile, have worse scores in poverty prevention. The same two have worse scores in overall poverty and child poverty. Only three have worse income inequality.
How, you might ask—you should ask—did the richest country the world has ever seen end up at #27 in social justice? “Occupy” famously has no agenda, no leaders, and no program, but this is what it’s about.
I lay the entire responsibility at the feet of Republican conservatives who, over a period of forty years, have eroded controls on the way business is done, wealth is earned, and democracy is practiced. The result is the most disastrous transfer of wealth to the rich the world has ever seen, leading to a situation where income for most of us is either worse or unchanged from forty years ago, where increasing numbers live in poverty, yet income for the rich has multiplied many times.
The worst aspect of this devastation is the overthrow of democracy, placing virtually all political power into the hands of people who believe that their continued enrichment is the same thing as national progress, and who have made it their business to buy laws and rules that make them ever richer at everyone else’s expense.
Our score in the basement of social justice is a complete repudiation of the entire belief system that has guided the Republican party for so long, a system that has resulted in 100% of Republican presidential candidates and half of Congress being millionaires, promoting policies that will mostly aid other millionaires, and bringing irreparable harm not only to those at the other end of the income scale, but to democracy itself.
The evidence lies before us. What are we going to do about it?