Another way of looking at it 03-25-2011

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Letter to the editor by Joe Peck

In a recent letter titled “Middle-class Americans are not imbeciles,” the writer asserts that the “Primary domestic policy goal” of the Obama administration is the “redistribution of wealth.” Well, I say, it’s about time!! It is not simply about class warfare or jealousy as the Tea Party would have you believe. It is about an economic system which ahs failed the vast majority of Americans by favoring the few.

For the past 25 years, the U.S. has been experiencing a version of the redistribution of wealth that the writer objects to. Every analysis of the movement of wealth has indicated that wealth has moved decidedly toward the wealthy. Estimates imply that nearly all (about 95 percent) of the wealth is now controlled by relatively few (as little as 5 percent). If this is true, then shouldn’t those few wealthy Americans be providing 95 percent of the tax revenue? Isn’t that the fairest tax model? Shouldn’t every American pay a tax based on his or her portion of the collective wealth? Yet, the writer ignores this inequity and defends the fortunes of the wealthy. What forces are at work here?

The writer further insinuates that over-reaching unions are equally responsible for our jobs being exported. Does the writer believe that Americans could or should work for a wage like twenty dollars a day which is what American industries typically pay the people in the countries where our jobs have moved to?

It is not the tax laws nor the unions that have sent the jobs overseas. It is the greed of U.S. industrialists and investors who choose higher profits in the short run over every other consideration in the long run. After all, didn’t those companies make a reasonable profit in the good old days when they employed Americans? Of course they did, but a reasonable profit was not enough. The writer concludes that the United States “will end in mediocrity.” I agree, but not because of tax laws, unions or the Obama administration.

As long as we keep defending what is not working and blindly exalting ourselves as the greatest country on Earth, we will be surpassed by any country that quietly looks to the needs of the future. Our failing education system, our decaying infrastructure and our lack of willingness to tax fairly are dooming us to third world status.

Joe Peck