More than 46 million Americans live below the poverty line, and income inequality in the U.S. is at its highest level since the 1920s, according to NBC News, which recently produced an extensive report on the subject.
Writer Martha White notes a generational aspect to the problem of poverty and inequality:
Thee nation’s economic recovery has limped along for so long that some Gen Xers are coming to a dour conclusion: Rather than just a temporary setback, these years of economic malaise may end up costing them — and their children — the future they once took for granted.
That’s not just a problem for workers who are languishing through what should be their prime earning years. It also could threaten to further drag down a recovery that already faces plenty of other headwinds, if these consumers are falling behind financially at a time when they should be fueling economic growth.
In this context it is worth remembering that white mainline Protestants are less likely than Roman Catholics and the religiously unaffiliated to believe that the government should play a significant role in tackling issues of poverty and inequality.