By Curtis O. Robinson, Sr.
“Behold, these are the wicked; and always at ease, they have increased in wealth.” Psalms 72:12
As the dollar continues to strengthen against the euro, I can hear the O’Jays in the back of my mind sing, “All Mighty Dollar.”
The dollar has made a significant comeback from the days when American tourist would be greeted by foreign exchange bankers with signs that read, “Euros Only.”
A euro is the official currency of the European Union’s (EU) member countries. The euro was introduced by the EU to the financial community in 1999, and physical euro coins and paper notes were introduced in 2002.
So as you can see, the euro is a new concept that allowed countries to pool their currency into a unit creating their standard of exchange. As of today one U.S. dollar can buy 0.79 euro.
This means that the dollar is being exchanged at a discount to the euro. I get less euros in exchange for U.S. dollars.
However, because of a recovery of positive Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced in the U.S.), economic policy under the Obama administration has placed the country’s economic trajectory on an upward pace.
Or is it?
In his book, “No Rising Tide,” Joerg M. Rieger says, “There can be little doubt that the topic of class is among the most taboo in the United States.”
And we can see in our churches that the message about money is not correct because money is something that we just don’t talk about.
And I think that we suffer.
We suffer from an illusion of prosperity and wealth because in the African-American culture, wealth is not something that we build – it’s something that you wear.
When we look at the mirage of professional athletes in the U.S. who have reached the zenith of their athletic performance, as soon as many of them can, they cover themselves in jewelry, cars and clothing that are fit for a king.
It is a staggering summation when stats suggest that 78 percent of NFL players and 60 percent of NBA players file for bankruptcy within five years after retiring.
So money has an intoxicating effect because either we are wasting what we have or wasting money trying to look like what we are not.
In 2009, the 25 richest hedge fund investors earned $25 billion dollars. Entry into the super-rich club begins at $380,000 annually, while the average household income of the super-rich is $1.2 million annually.
In terms of net worth of the middle class in the U.S., things haven’t improved since 1984 – they have worsened. Is there a solution?
Curtis O. Robinson, Sr. is senior pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Oakland and chairman of the board of Faith Visionary Services, Inc. of Oakland. Contact him at [email protected]