In spite of the fact that only 10% of the people in the United States are the direct beneficiaries of recent economic expansion, material life in the United States and, even in the world, has never been so good. Yes, poverty still exists- hundreds of thousands of children in the world still go to bed hungry. Nevertheless, anyone looking at photographs taken in the early part of the Twentieth Century of street children or of those taken of buildings in the inner cities in the late 1960’s can see a marked difference between yesterday and today.
One of the problems that we have today is that of the elite. That is, those who control/have wealth and or education or both. Too many of those able to take leadership rolls, for the good of the pubic, choose to live private lives of ostentation. This is not good for society as a whole for two reasons: 1) the talents and other resources, such as leadership, of the elite are cut out of politics, philosophy and religion 2) the masses see what the elite have materially and feel deprived because they do not have those things (luxury cars, watches, boats, etc.). As a result, large segments of society fall into disillusion and fatalism.
The elite are use to adulation; they are not use to failure. In this age of instant information, good or bad, the elite with leadership skills are cautious about sticking their necks out, especially in politics. Public opinion can turn on a dime. It takes more than wealth and education to make a leader. A leader must have a strong moral sense of self and deep and abiding compassion for those he/she hopes to lead. Perhaps if we all turned off our electronic devises for just one day, we may give some elite the courage to become a true leader.