The recent reports on the economy seem hauntingly similar [to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus]. The rich man dresses in fine stock prices—“The Dow past 14,000 to within 75 points of a record high last week”—and dines sumptuously on profits—“Corporate earnings have risen at an annualized rate of 20.1 percent since the end of 2008”. Meanwhile, on the door step, sits poor Lazarus who would have eaten of the scraps of the rich man’s table but instead has had his “disposable income inched ahead by 1.4 percent annually” since 2008. Lazarus’ only companions are the dogs of sequestration that come and lick his sores: The economy is estimated to loose about 700,000 jobs without substantially affecting profits or stock prices.
Somehow, having one's disposable income increase by 1.4% each year just doesn't have the feeling of lying starving and covered with sores on a rich man's doorstep and wishing to eat the scraps he serves to his dogs, and that's not just because mixing wonkish numbers with biblical imagery seem odd.