Fair question. Not everything that can be counted can be counted on. But if numbers are what persuades you, here we go.
About a billion people worldwide are without access to fresh drinking water. Nine million kids die before the age of five every year.
Here in the US, 15.8% of our population is considered extremely poor, making less than $11K per year. Many unable to pay for healthy food, unable to send their kids to a decent school, unable to afford air conditioning in the sweltering 100+ F degree heat during the summer, etc. Crime and child-rearing are exploding as a result of poverty. Twenty-five percent (indeed a quarter) of all children attending U.S. public schools are currently on food support provided by the school. Many of those children unsure of when they will eat next. This is the America we have created I want you to know about. So we can fix it.
Poverty, as the experts now realize, is not “just” a person without money; it breeds children with a third less brain capacity by the age of five just because the child has not been exposed to experiences that develop the brain.
I suggest you take a drive through the backroads of Lumberton, NC as I was forced to during the floods from a hurricane. The memory of a refrigerator sitting on the front porch of a house made out of tin sheets with people sitting on an old couch watching the time tick by reminds me how none of us are free unless we are all free.
Now, that does not mean we need to become a socialist country. But we must build a system in which everyone is offered the mobility to make something of themselves. Our current systems are oligarchically controlled to deny the most basic meritocracy to all. So, even if you are poor and happened to be the outlier in the rough, you would have little to no chance of breaking through the mold of the aristocracy. That is not the America we want the world to know about or even recognize ourselves.
Despite our preachings to the opposite, our manmade systems are in blatant violation of the most rudimentary principles of freedom that would otherwise evaluate people solely based on their merit rather than on their descent.
Wealth inequality will continue to exist. Still, when the merit of wealth is assigned only to the strengthening of human evolution, the bell curve of wealth will widen and flatten, offering more opportunity to more people, in line with how nature assigns merit and thus improving the sustainability of our species.
Our freedom must be predicated on our access to opportunity and, regardless of descent, allow our evolutionary merit and contributions to define our place in the world.