In 2013, UUJEC began writing and working for a CSAI on Escalating Inequality, with Dr. Dick Burkhart taking the lead. The process is similar to writing a grant proposal, writing about goals, documenting authorities and listing references.
Winning approval is like running a political campaign, with buttons and flyers to pass out and publicizing the value of studying inequality. The rules on winning approval meant that we needed a run off vote. With the UU Service Committee, UUSC, working hard on fair compensation, Rev. Dr. Bill Schultz, the UUSC President, got up and endorsed our CSAI. And we won!
As soon as we won, we began lobbying for an effective curriculum. At the same time, we authored our own curriculum to make sure it's as cutting edge and penetrating--income inequality is very complex. Sources of inequality come from extreme taxation variables, with middle income people paying two to three times as much of their income in taxes as wealthy people. With free trade agreements, American workers compete with almost free labor--pushing down unions and income. Everything has worked against the working man and for the wealthy. Laws worked against thrift and caution and for unlimited speculation--and when the economic house of cards collapsed, it collapsed on everyone but the top 2-3% of earners.
Rather than just passing the CSAI, we have chosen to be actively involved in helping UUs to use this curriculum. This is the purpose of our UUJEC conference the weekend of February 20, 2015 in Evanston, IL. Also, we will be presenting workshops in our own congregations. To help other congregations, we will have workshops on how to use the CSAI at the Mid-America Assembly. A proposal for a workshop at GA has been submitted, but that's never a sure thing as GA management have to turn down more proposals than they accept.