The Fairness Campaign

Lynne McTaggart

I have just returned after two and a half weeks on the road around Pennsylvania and the Pacific northwest, spreading the message of The Bond about survival of the fairest – our need to care, share and be fair. 
It was my first trip back to my home country since January, and what smacked me right between the eyes about the current state of my home country was the unfairness I saw, everywhere I looked.  Everything about the current American experience these days appears to be manifestly, grossly unfair.
Divided numbers
First of all, there were the bald statistics. A tiny 1 per cent of Americans takes in nearly one-quarter of America’s entire income every year, and that 1 per cent also controls 40 per cent of the country’s entire wealth. 
And the fortunes of this tiny minority are spiraling upward. That self-same 1 per cent has doubled their proportion of total American income in 25 years.  While income for the 1 per cent has risen by 18 per cent over the last 10 years, the rest of America has observed its income fall by 12 per cent in the same time period. 
The divide is getting wider by the day. One in five – and in some quarters one in two – young people remain unemployed.  One in six Americans who’d like a full-time job cannot get work. 
Although one in every 39 Americans is a millionaire, one in seven – a total of 39.1 million Americans – lives on food stamps and below the poverty line.
So, the question I must ask is simply this: whatever happened to fairness? 
Marginal productivity in action
An article in the May edition of Vanity Fair entitled, ‘Of the 1 %, By the 1 %, For the 1 %’ by Nobel prizewinning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz zeroed in on some of these statistics to evaluate the effectiveness of what has been called ‘marginal-productivity theory.’ 
This theory holds that those with higher incomes deserve their pile because they have far higher productivity and therefore a far greater contribution to society.  It’s also responsible for the ‘trickle-down theory’ – the idea that these high flyers will naturally generate more opportunity for all the rest of us. 
The problem is, there’s just no evidence that either theory is true, says Stiglitz. The top 1 per cent are the self-same people who were paid record bonuses during years in which the recession they helped to create has caused vast numbers of Americans to lose their jobs, their savings – even their homes. 
America is not only the most unfair in its history; it is now the most unfair of any major Western country.  The division between rich and poor is more akin to present conditions in Russia and Iran, says Stiglitz, than it is to the conditions in any country in Europe. 
Stiglitz also makes the point that growing economic inequality actually hurts the economy, which gets undermined because a disproportionate number of people either have no opportunity or elect to go into finance, because it is more lucrative than other fields.  It hurts the infrastructure – our roads, our education, our railway systems and airports – because the rich have the ability to avoid paying taxes toward it. 
The top 1 per cent block opportunity for the 99 per cent. They have the means to keep things as they are because they have the power to make sure that government and corporate policy are bought and paid for. And instead of ‘trickle-down economics,’ vast wealth centered on the few only breeds ‘trickledown behavior’ – all the rest of the people striving to live like the 1 per cent, well beyond their means.  
Eventually it makes for revolution, as it has all across the Middle East. 
‘These are societies,’ writes Stiglitz, ‘where a minuscule fraction of the population – less than 1 per cent – controls the lion’s share of the wealth; where wealth is a main determinant of power; where entrenched corruption of one sort of another is a way of life; and where the wealthiest often stand actively in the way of policies that would improve life for people in general.’
These, in short, are societies like today’s America.  America is brewing the self-same conditions that historically cause the majority at the bottom to overthrow the few at the top.
Everybody loses
The rich may get richers, but nobody actually wins when things are unfair.  The latest evidence shows that the more unfair any society, the worse off everyone is – both rich and poor – in terms of virtually every social problem.  Both the most affluent and the very poorest suffer from higher rates of ill health, crime, mental illness, environmental problems, and violence. 
Although one of the wealthiest countries in the world with half the world’s billionaires, America has the highest level of all social problems – crime, lack of education, mental illness, suicide, disease of all varieties – of twenty other countries examined. 
One-quarter of all people in America have been diagnosed with mental illness — the highest percentage among the most advanced developed countries — compared to less than one in ten in Germany, Japan, and Spain. 
Although the United States spends nearly half the entire world’s expenditure on health, and has only 5 per cent of the world’s population, the fact remains that a baby born in the United States has a 40 per cent higher risk of dying during the first year than a baby born in Greece, one of the poorest countries in Europe, where the population makes half as much on average and the country spends half as much on healthcare.  Furthermore, that Greek baby can expect to live 1.2 years longer than the American.
Fairness is necessary to our survival. As I write in The Bond, we were made to share, care and be fair; scientists and economists have demonstrated that fairness has is at the heart of who we are and how we interact with each other. It’s hardwired in us to take only our fair share.  Turn-taking has even been shown to be an essential part of evolution. 
Consequently, I am launching The Fairness Campaign this week to put that good old-fashioned virtue back into the center of our lives and communities. 
In The Bond and elsewhere on the new Bond website (, I offer people practical tools, skills and processes proven to work around the world, even in war-torn areas,  to restore fairness in their lives and their society from the bottom up. One relationship, neighborhood or organization at a time.  These processes have also proven successful in bringing both sides together over highly polarized issues, such as abortion.
More information will follow in coming weeks on my websites and in these pages.  If you are not joined up yet, join for more information. 
Selflessness is the most self-serving act of all because it is the position naturally most beneficial to us all.  As the character John Nash realizes in the movie A Beautiful Mind, ‘The best result is for everyone in the group doing what’s best for himself . . . and the group.’
Life is unfair, but the point is:  we don’t have to be.

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Lynne McTaggart

Lynne McTaggart is an award-winning journalist and the author of seven books, including the worldwide international bestsellers The Power of Eight, The Field, The Intention Experiment and The Bond, all considered seminal books of the New Science and now translated into some 30 languages.

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45 comments on “The Fairness Campaign”

  1. Fair is just a word in the dictionary. Here we live by the golden rule: He who has the gold, rules. The banking laws perpetrate fraud and the courts uphold them. Everybody (in the 1%) is happy, so why change them? The house of cards is collapsing and only love can bail us out.

  2. "The Spirit Level - Why Equality is Better for Everyone" by Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett - published by Penguin in 2010.
    Covers similar ground comparing inequalities in countries and US States.

    1. I've had "Spirit Level" in my stack of books to read for a couple of weeks. It's great to see someone else referring to it in a comment on Lynne's blog. I'll be sure to move it to the top of the heap. 🙂
      With Love and Gratitude,

  3. Lynne, it can not always be from the bottom up. A change has to take place in the minds of that controlling one percent However that does seem unlikely. They have ruled the rooste for so long, walking with contempt over the mass of people whom they consider just not smart enough or clever enough to have achieved wealth or position. I mean the ideology is if you got the right stuff you can make it!. Right? Never mind, the cards are stacked to keep the status quo. The real power structure invisible to the majority, who are just beginning to clue in on the extent of the corruption in the government. Remember the old song, "What to do? What to do?
    The outlook was decidedly blue." Well, if the top dogs continue to play their game with the old rules then I guess the old solutions will eventually take place. Revolution. I think they don't realize how close to the edge they are. How serious and angry people become when they are being forced to the wall by such a selfish minority. How unpleasant if change has to come with violence and not with votes.

  4. Thank you for updating the look of your website I can finally read it without that annoying leaf blocking the view.

  5. One of the things that no one seems to be addressing is the prevailing assumption that people who are not doing well financially are lazy, non-contributing members of society who need to make more of an effort. I stand as living proof that this is not the case. As an intelligent, well educated, reliable woman, I have a college degree, additional professional training certification, and have constantly added to my education in more than one discipline; I have consistently worked 10 to 14 hour days during the time I was employed, payed all my taxes, and have never taken any kind of government payout, including (well earned) unemployment. And I am currently unable to find work, have no health insurance, and struggle to afford the basic neccesities, including food. And I have met others in the same situation. So for all those out there who think that below the poverty line means illegal aliens, unwed mothers, and drug addicts. . . look again.

    1. Hear-Hear! Although it does not fix anything in your physical world, I will tell you, you are not alone and there is a growing voice of those who see what you see. Once there is even 51% of the 99% no longer willing to play the game that benefits only 1%, changes will occur - rapidly!
      Strength in numbers!
      Hang in there, do not let the propaganda of what constitutes 'failure' in our society get you down - human time, talent and energy, coupled with our willingness to look after each other are the only things that allowed us to survive the millenia we have - - time to remind the 1% what cooperation looks like!
      Gathering with others who played by the rules and still lost is a great way to effect change and keep your spirits up while doing it. There are many who share your dedication, work ethic and mores, who are no longer willing to work for the benefit of 1% - I find more of them than I did in 2006, when I was in the same position as you are now.
      The good news about our declining economy is it makes it harder to point fingers and scapegoat stereotypes - when those who produce needed goods and services become the bottom rung of society, the problems of our system become oh-so-apparent - to oh-so many! It makes effecting change in a beneficial direction much easier.
      Hang in there!

  6. There was remarkable research analysis by Institute for HeartMath showing that acts of altruism causes the heart to secrete oxytocin --a 'feel-good' hormone most often identified as the "love or bonding" hormone between mother and baby. They also discovered that altruistic people are happier and live longer. (
    Now there's a message for the selfish upper 1% of Americans!

    1. Why do we assume that those in the upper 1% are selfish! That does not sound like a loving thought to me. That sounds like class warfare to me.

  7. While the mood of this post isn't the (greatest), I was thrilled to see so many things tied together. I loved that you called them the "bald statistics." Then, you brought in Stiglitz (who is brillant, by the way). And to tie it all up, you quoted a line from John Nash in A Beautiful Mind. Some may liken that quote to communism, but I think it's more appropriate to say that the line refers to a sense of greater responsibility on the part of humans. It's almost like an evolutionary leap -- when humans desist from being solely interested in what propels them forward and, instead, realize that the "whole" is just as important as the one. 🙂
    With Love and Gratitude,

  8. What Lynn says is true and self evident. It is also very scary. Living in this country (USA) is like being a passenger in a runaway train that nobody knows how to stop. Over and over, history has shown us how excessive, corrupt power can lead a society into a precipice of mass insanity and destruction. However, maybe instead of considering the possibility of a bloody revolution as a solution, this group should plan an INTENTIONAL EXPERIMENT aimed at opening up the minds and the hearts of the powerful in this country towards the creation of a fairer, more compassionate and sharing society. The effect would be global. Just a thought......

    1. I like this is only an intention!..... we must wait to see what might unfold... but it is a shift from the closed fist mindset that has to take place for many people. Also, openness to honesty and truth. Moving away from the projected fear that is forced on the majority to immobilize their thinking and action.... This is an intention I carry into meditation practice each day...I am hopeful that the numbers of people doing this increases...the tipping point will be reached!
      Would love to have Lynne lead a focused group on this intention.
      May we all have peace and love in our hearts....and let it shine!

  9. But, Intention Experiments and Prayers are not meant to change people who refuse to change, which violates the Free Will rule. Instead, let us visualize the Paradise Choice within ourselves, and feel joy within our mean circumstances until those mean circumstances loosen and release the new possibility.

  10. If we could have a mass intention for peace in September 2009, why could we not have a mass intention for fairness in 2011? You cannot force anyone to change, therefore, you cannot violate the Free Will rule. But you can create an intention for a desired outcome!

  11. This is not one of Lynn's best lessons/messages, it seems simplistic, and just didn't resonate with me. I'm disappointed.

  12. The country Lynne sees is certainly disgusting and I can hear her anger and desire for vengeance (revolution) on those she finds responsible. I just find it strange that I live in this country an have an entirely opposite experience. Yes I do see a lot of things that tell me a large number of people in this country have neglected their education and that of their children. There seems to be a focus on spending money on trash rather than spending carefully and saving for old age and a rainy day. I am not blind to the grocery carts piled high with soft drinks and unhealthy snacks. Money wasted on gold teeth, chains, guns and expensive sports events, not to mention alcohol and drugs. Even those with so called educations who have held decent paying jobs have bought into the idea that a government is responsible for us and have no savings.
    The media for the last decade or so, in their pursuit of sensationalism have convinced these people that the business owners are criminals. I am shocked that Lynne, who appeared in the beginning of the INTENTION EXPERIMENT, to have a desire to learn about the potential for the human mind to change the reality it perceives, seemingly has abandoned that, in favor of pushing for political action. She almost appears too be one possessed. In one video she stars unblinkingly into the camera the entire time as if hypnotized. I was with Lynne from the beginning and recommended the book "The Field to dozens of people but something has happened here. What is it?

    1. I am probably going to make myself unpoular but I garee with Maryln Milan.
      I uusally love what Lynne has to say- it resonates with me.
      However this time, I felt that she had losat the plot a little. I know I wasn't there to see what she saw, but the whole picture is a lot greater than she would have us believe this time.

  13. You and others who think like you are what happened. There is none so blind as the one who does not want to see.

  14. America is going through huge changes from within and she mirrors back to all of us the story of us all ~~ such an amazingly creative and beautiful place ~ I live in Australia but originally came from England. This also is a fantastic place (OZ) but within its emotional body is held a lot of fear! It goes way back beyond the white skinned people turning up! They added to it of course. America to me (when I am there) shows me all her potential but also her old memory playing out. As Martin Luther said "For in the nature of all things if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver".
    We are an evolving humanity and actually we are doing very well! Well done America ~ for the courage to show your need to evolve!!! Lezley from OZ X

  15. Please read a tiny booklet by Arnold M.Patent called simply "Money"!!!
    In it he equates Money with Energy as well as Love.(page 12!)
    Does the large deficit mean also a deficit of that LOVE in the USA? it seems so?!

    1. I believe this is a good question to pose...... for us all to look at ourselves in this question where are we and how are we sharing love and money on a daily basis...
      A good book to read on this topic is: The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.

  16. I am very concerned about your message. I thought about this all night and the more I thought about what you said the more upset I have became. At least I have calmed down now to a point that I can comment. This is what happened in the Soviet Union under Lennen. It's called COMMUNISM. Most of the 1% you speak of have worked hard to get that 1% and they give to different organizations to help those who have less, whether it is because they want a tax break or out of a genereous heart, it doesn't matter, they still give. Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? 20% of the people do 80% of the work. That has been proven. I'm not one of the 1% you talk about but we make more than most people in my area. Why? Because my husband is willing to travel out of the area to work, where most of the people are not willing to do that. If one of my neighbors came and ask for help, we would be glad to help. But, if that neighbor who doesn't have enough, but uses his money for drugs, beer, and cigarettes, comes to me and "demands" I give him what we have worked for, well, let's just say he won't get anything. As long as there are humans, there will be greed, power struggles and evil. I do not want to live in a country that is for "fair" in the way you speak. Do you really think it will be better for everyone to have equal things? If so, Look at the old Soviet Union to see what the outcome will be. This "Fairness" you speak of is very dangereous.

  17. Jodi, you TOTALLY MISS THE POINT! Nobody is advocating communism! Nobody is saying everybody should have an equal amount of anything or that you should not benefit from your hard work. The point is that it the odds are stacked against struggling, HARD WORKING people because their goverment has been bought and paid for by the rich and powerful and by special interests who, by and large, don't care about what happens to people who lost their jobs, their homes, their health care and their ability to dig themselves out of the hole. Maybe some of them give to charitable organizations and that is nice (also, donations are tax deductible). But the poor, the unemployed and the disappearing middle class in the US do not want charity, they want a right to earn their living and control their destiny. THAT is what the United Stated is all about, I thought. By the way, I am upset too!

  18. I am glad that I live in the Nederland’s. it may not be perfect, but everybody has food and health insurance.
    Warm Greetings

  19. Well,you can call it global warming or natural cycles. I think we're due for a revenge of nature. The US ran out of funds for flood disasters. One more natural disaster and there's no money for anything. The US will start defaulting on loans and if the dollar goes down so does Wall street and the rest of the world. Gold and silver is being hoarded because they are about the only thing that's regarded as having any true monetary value. You go to Walmart and see zombies stuffing their carts and fat asses full of processed foods like it's going out of style. You don't think people will totally lose it when Doritos and and the bulk of other food is not on the shelves.People say they want change and think some dying hope will come along and bail them out...until a disaster takes place. You can't save anyone,only yourself. We need to process our shadows. before it's too late. As said think locally. Band together with your neighbors. When the internet goes down who else is left?We'll be shown soon enough and everyone will be hit like a freight train with their own self realization of their horror that exists deepdown. Insanity follows.One other thing you probably won't agree with but I look at it like this. You say you love your pets....but by the looks of things people love eating animals more. A pig is a pig whether animal or human. Be generous,show respect and tenderness. Getting pissed off only brings us deeper into the quagmire. Best of luck to all.

  20. Fairness comes from every one of us, in order to be fair we have to love every one unconditionally and that is what will save us.

  21. Wow ~ a lot of emotion here! I know that Lynn and others who are speaking out about fairness and the bond between us are moving us in the right direction. My fear is that what usually 'brings people together' in this country (USA) is a disaster and I wonder about how big that disaster will have to be to bring about the change that we need. The 1% at the top continue to keep pushing for more, as our Republican House majority is demonstrating. They are currently not worried about the needs (not to mention wants) of the other 99%. I hope it doesn't come to a revolution but I wonder what it will take.

  22. Living in Australia, people here tend to be bemused at the tendency of some people in the US to stigmatise as communist or socialist anyone who speaks out for fairnesss and equity. Granted that regimes that espoused communism were and are awful, the original implulse to demand and distribute a more equal share of resources was not ignoble. Basic human rights include a life lived with dignity, which involves access to a nation's resources, including affordable and adequate health care. Lynne has outlined the reasons why everybody, including the super rich, benefit from this. It isn't about being communist, it's about being human and sensible...

  23. Life IS fair. You get what you think about and are in alignment with. If you think the world is unfair, then that is the experience you will have. I am not saying that we shouldn't be fair to one another - of course we should. But to point at someone else and blame them for your situation is just silly. Take control of your life by accepting what is, and then become aligned with what you want to experience instead - then you WILL have that experience and not the previous one - one more time.
    Become a deliberate creator and not an active reactor in your life experience.

  24. I cannot find the exact quote, but Thomas Merton once said:
    "It seems to me socialism/communism models have only ever been successful within the monastic life. When a common goal/ideal is held by all and worked towards by all"
    The comments regarding this post and 'hints of communism' seem rather off-target, from this perspective, as it is possible to put love, fairness and an empathic civilization at the core of our modern systems - rather than profits and unsustainable lifestyles that demand the sacrifice of many to benefit greatly a few.
    I agree that heart and mind shifts must take place prior to any lasting, beneficial changes being made - heart and mind shifts can come from deep pondering, spiritual exercises and loving acts -
    They can also be effected by major disasters, trauma and loss - -
    Sooner or later, shifts occur, else a species destroys itself through it's own inability to see what is in its own best interests. (the cheetah nearly went extinct before learning to cooperatively hunt and eat something other than one species of grazer - while the leopard adapted to smaller prey and fared better during a period of increased human consumption of previously available resources)
    We are all interdependent - upon each other and the environment we inhabit - until we decide, as a species, to engage in activities that benefit both ourselves AND those around us AND our biosphere, we will continue to trade short-term rewards for long-term destruction.
    Lynne and those like her are trying desperately to shine a spotlight on issues within ourselves AND our systems to allow us the chance create better ones before the disaster comes (worsens?)
    Sadly, those who have not yet been touched by the hardships inequality creates, will continue to label those less fortunate as 'whiners and losers, who should just think their way to wealth and love"
    To my mind, the purpose of meditating and other spiritual exercises is to open my mind to all the possibilities there are when I go through my day taking action - the more aware I am of what's possible, supposedly, the better actions (and therefore consequences) will happen.
    Being positive and peaceful is not about turning a blind eye to those of our creations that are destructive - it's about acknowledging what is not working for all that we are dependent upon and coming up with a mutually beneficial solution.
    Hard to come up with solutions, if you are unwilling to admit or discuss the problem...

  25. I don't think there is anything wrong in some people making money but the way they make monry should not involve pushing down rest of the population that is what is not fair. For this way of thinking to become part of our culture we have to love everyone uncondionally.

  26. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black, Lynn. You've seemed to find a way to marginalize yourself. Preaching to people about fairness. If fairness is what you're looking for, how about opening up your forums and calls to all, instead of charging outrageous prices for us to listen to how you think life should be fair. I agree that life isn't fair, but life is also about what you make of it. And if you choose not to work and to live off welfare while I'm working a 9-5 job and my husband’s working late at the office every night and getting paid a good salary to do so, don't you tell me about what's fair. America isn't fair because some people choose not work hard and to live off the people that do. Then they sit around and criticize those who have worked hard for their money and paid a heck of a lot in taxes to afford them the opportunity to sit on their couches and watch cable tv and then hit up the atm with their electronic benefits card. If anything, it's not FAIR that the top 1% has to pay an unfair portion of taxes to cover the lazy unmotivated people in our society.

  27. isn't it all about mind set, yes others have more than I do, and I have more than others, how mature do you need to be to get that. Well this I know the more I grow as a spiritual person ,the more I answer to what is good for everyone...Nothing is wrong with having, the ego gets in the way and we all think that our stuff is our life.Pointing fingers just shames, applauding a person for achieving and giving back is cool, or helping a person to honor themselves so they feel better about their circumstances is waay better than demeaning . I don't need to understand how to love, I just need examples of it in my life everyday, so I become a better person for every reason. Peace, love, and light......

  28. I am not a rich person. Certainly not in the 1%. However, the philosophy put forth sounds a little like socialism to me. Not fairness. Taking from one to give to another is theft. Freely giving from your good fortune is the geatest opportunity for soul growth. TAKING the money robs us of our opportunity to feed our souls. If one declines to freely share their good fortune, that is their decision (free will), but I would argue that they wiill lose something much greater. Forced redistribution of wealth is not a virtue.

  29. There isnt a chance that we can come together on this until we realize that when we condemn the 'other' we are part of the problem. We all are in search of the same end and that is peace, health and prosperity for all. Our disagreements are about the methods to arrive at that end. Our efforts must be directed toward what works and not just repeating the mistakes of the past (and present).
    We do not have to strive for equality. We already are equal. We are created equal and have equal creative powers to direct our lives toward those ends of peace, health and prosperity. We can live our lives in alignment with the laws of the universe and prosper, or not and ruin ourselves. It is our choice. There is no shortage of anything. The blessings one person has does not limit the blessings another receives.
    Someone here has said in some words or other that we cannot think these things into being. He is wrong. That is exactly how they come into being. We focus on unfairness - we will see it everywhere. Focus on fairness and you will see and experience that the world is fair. Do not focus on the faults of others. Even the physicists are finding we affect what we see.
    We wonder why there is so much mental illness. It is because our beliefs regarding the nature of reality are completely topsy turvy.

  30. Having red Marilyn's reply again I realized that we should be careful of the methods we use because some methods might infringe on others well being.

  31. I teach my young children that everything is always fair. Different people get different things, and we all get exactly what will bring us the most fulfillment in the end.
    I am a very, very poor single mother of four small children (all under age 6). Once, less than a decade ago, I was financially wealthy.
    I am not lazy, unintelligent, unmotivated, nor an "undeserving taker" in society. On the contrary, I am a 4.0 student, a phenomenal mother, an unpaid regular caretaker of seven mentally-disabled nieces and nephews, a steady committed volunteer for multiple non-profit organizations, and contribute immensely in other arenas as well.
    And I live a very satisfying, rewarding life in America - where Lynn has correctly recognized a skewdness in the distribution of our resources.
    With that said, I feel saddened by those who chose to mistake one's financial situation for their value, and I feel saddened by those who believe that such a measure of worth is valid. And I feel especially saddened that so many sit back and judge each other based on something as silly (and, really, as imaginary) as money.
    I envision and strive for a world where people remember that there always has been, always is, and always will be enough for everyone, that hoarding is unnecessary, that living in excess is poor replacement for a truly satisfying life, and that in gratuitously sharing we lose nothing.

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