We already have a great network of organisations and individuals working to achieve this through educational, vocational and mentoring schemes, but more support is needed - both financial and on the ground. We need more men to get involved too, as these are problems that affect us all. Things won't happen overnight, but I believe that change is possible
Oh, I'm sorry - you Tories out there still refer to it as the "top rate of Income Tax", don't you? That's very passé, you know - and more than a little misleading, also. After all, the country's in a mess - substantially more of a mess than it was in when our benign Coalition government assumed unelected power in 2010, actually.
The challenge is clear, if complex. Income inequality has increased as the world has got wealthier, with GINI coefficients increasing across many countries. But, poverty has also reduced. As Bill Gates argues this week in his annual letter, by 2035 we should have no or only very few low incomes countries left, with many graduating to middle income.
If we were to judge the wellbeing of the nation by the changing skyline of the City of London or the number of designer handbags then we would be on the verge entering a new golden age. However this only tells one side of the story, the other is told by widespread political apathy, increasing household debts and the ever-growing queues at food banks and pay day loan companies.
The biggest tragedy of all is, if we're lucky enough to survive until we're old, grey and wrinkled, and our grandchildren ask us what we gave to the world we lived in, we are only able to say that we took more than we gave. For the man who dies without giving more than he has taken can take no triumph from his life.
While Francis' analysis is correct, the problem is that capitalism is not the only system that acts in this way: religions - Catholicism included - also create problematic demands on us. Indeed, one could argue that the idea of God could be seen as an infinite demand: if God has said, for example, that being gay is sinful or having women leaders is wrong, who are we to even begin to argue?
You don't have to be a Marxist to feel a sense of outrage at these statistics. I trust that most of us with an ounce of sympathy for the suffering of fellow human beings would sense that the global economic system that engineers such disparity in the way people live is dysfunctional and requires serious reforms.
One percent of the world's population own half of the world's wealth. Meanwhile, the poorest people on earth, who constitute two thirds of the world's population, own just 3% of the world's wealth. This is clearly nuts. This hasn't happened overnight. The global disparity between incomes has been spiralling out of control over the last few decades.
Together with migration, urbanisation, climate change and population growth, ageing is a transformative phenomenon affecting our world. One of the effects of rapid population ageing across the world is that we are entering the era of the 'age bulge', when the older population increases in size relative to younger people.
From the wailing and rending of garments following David Miliband's resignation as an MP this week, you could be forgiven for expecting a state funeral to be held in the coming days. If this is how we're going to treat someone who was never Prime Minister, never Leader of the Opposition, and held one of the three great offices of state for less than three years, then Malcolm Rifkind will be absolutely delighted. Perhaps it's time to put things in a bit of perspective.
Globally, we have made huge strides in tackling poverty through international development and foreign aid. Indeed, extreme income poverty has dropped from two billion in 1990 to less than 1.3 billion today. And incredibly, child mortality has almost halved in that time. But the gap between rich and poor children globally has grown by some 35 per cent.