NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

July 2, 2014

No defense for gross economic inequality

To the editor:

There are those who have defended our gross economic inequality as necessary and consider policy suggestions to ameliorate the situation as even immoral and socialistic.

This suggests to me that those who see it this way have a view that doesn’t deal with reality. In defense of increasing the wealth of the few, they cite the hard work of those few. Apparently they believe the hard work of the employees of corporations has little to do with the profits of those corporations. Only the CEOs, because of their “hard work,” are deserving of the millions in salaries and bonuses, while it’s OK to pay low or decreasing wages to workers.

I suggest, merely as a thought, to imagine the removal of the workers’ labor entirely. Is it possible that business could survive and profit employing only the top brass? You might say that such a proposition is ludicrous. But some are willing to accept the idea that the employees who have created that wealth should not share in it proportionately. What wealth would accrue to the owners of the fast food restaurants, the big box stores, the coal mines, etc. without their workers?

Along with the belief in the sanctity of economic inequality, there exists hostility toward government. But when the taxpayer supplements corporations’ payrolls to provide food stamps, Medicaid, etc. for millions of low-wage workers, using government funds, many feel no such hostility toward this “corporate welfare.” Instead, they respond with hostility toward raising the minimum wage that would save taxpayers millions.

I wonder how one can entertain such contradictory ideas.

Alfred Moskowitz

Newburyport

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