economy is in trouble. Since the recession began in late 2007, Wall Street has
recovered and is once again paying huge bonuses. But many American households continue to struggle.
As this is being written in mid-2011, millions of people
remain out of work. Record numbers of families continue to lose their homes.
State governments, required by law to balance their budgets, are cutting
services, laying off workers, and (incorrectly) blaming state employees for
their financial woes. Corporations are sitting on record amounts of cash but
they are doing little hiring or investing because the economic future is too
The economic problems in the United States did not start in
2007. They began some 40 years ago. Incomes for households on the lower and
middle rungs of the economic ladder have stagnated for decades. Over the past
40 years as the economy has seen sizable growth, all the gains have gone to the top 10 percent of households and
primarily to the top 1 percent. Average income among the bottom 90 percent of
households, adjusted for inflation, is slightly below the level of 40 years ago.
The rich have become fabulously wealthy, the poor have
gotten poorer, and everyone else has gotten, at most, a few crumbs. Even before
the global financial crisis, the U.S. economy was not benefiting
Both the growing inequality and financial crisis have their
roots in the economic policies that have been put in place in the United States
and around the world over the past few decades. These policies include
deregulation, an important cause of the financial crisis; tax cuts, which have
contributed to the large federal deficit; a shifting of the tax burden from
corporations and the wealthy to middle and lower income households; restrictions
on unions and the right to organize; international trade and investment
agreements that unfairly advantage multinational corporations; incentives to
move jobs and financial investments out of the United States; and
privatization, which often turns jobs with good wages and benefits into
low-wage jobs with few benefits.
The Church is called to act, to change unjust economic
policies and structures that thwart God’s vision of abundant life for all.
See also Poverty in the United States and Worker Justice in the United States
UCC General Synod
Resolutions and Pronouncements
The General Synod has repeatedly spoken about
the need for economic justice and changes to the U.S. and global economic systems.
These are the most important:
Christian Faith: Economic Life and Justice (11.4 MB)
Faithful Response: Calling for a More Just and Humane Direction for Economic
Democratic Principles in an Emerging Global Economy
the Common Good
The UCC website includes a list of all General Synod resolutions and pronouncements that address economic issues approved since 1999 and selected ones before that date.
More Information and Ways to Engage