Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
~Oscar Wilde

From last year’s lucre alone, the often indifferent rich could have paid to feed the world’s famished, sometimes starving, children by some 160 times. In simple terms, they could flat eradicate poverty without pain, save relinquishing another yacht or vacation home.

According to a recent Bloomberg report, the world’s wealthiest cumulatively grew $524 B richer last year. At the same time, hourly wages for most Americans are not growing much faster than the rate of inflation.

To add some more fat to the fire, consider that wages adjusted by inflation of nonsupervisory workers in the retail trade have fallen almost 30% since the early 70’s; while the national minimum wage was raised a few years ago, it is still seriously meager by historical standards, having consistently lagged well behind both inflation and average remuneration levels; since the late 70’s real wages for the bottom half of the work force have stagnated or fallen, while the incomes of the top 1 percent have nearly quadrupled; hiking the minimum wage has little or no adverse effect on employment, while significantly increasing workers’ earnings; the wage and benefit discrepancies and wealth inequalities between CEOs and workers are simply astonishing now; in the wealthiest nation on earth, many workers are still mired in poverty; the bottom third of the American work force has seen little or no rise in inflation adjusted wages since the early 70’s; in no state in this vast country can a minimum wage worker afford a two bedroom apartment working 40 hours per week. For shame.

Happy New Year. Oh, and a simple dip below.

RADICCHIO CON RICOTTA E GORGONZOLA

1 C whole milk ricotta
1/2 C gorgonzola
1/3 C parmigiano reggiano, grated
1/2 medium fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Finely grated zest from 1/2 lemon
2 t fresh lemon juice
2 t thyme leaves, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 head treviso radicchio and/or endive, leaves separated
Thyme leaves, for garnish

In a glass bowl, stir together ricotta, gorgonzola, parmigiano reggiano, fennel, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with thyme leaves. Serve with radicchio and/or endive.