Don’t let wealthy fleece us without even a debate

OlympiaApril 18, 2014 

The Olympian should continue to investigate the issue of excessive CEO pay and the larger problem of growing income disparity in the United States. A letter to the editor published on March 27 wrongly suggested this issue is fabricated by liberals. It is real and deserves attention.

Robert Reich, an economist, and former Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration points out that public spending on education, infrastructure and basic research has declined from 12 percent of the gross domestic product in the 1970s to less than 3 percent today. Corporations are paying less in federal taxes than at anytime in the past 30 years and are sitting on more than $2 trillion in cash. Today, CEOs are taking 300 times the pay of average workers compared with 40 times the pay 30 years ago. Corporate profits compared with wages are higher than anytime since before the Great Depression.

As working and middle-class Americans, liberal and conservative alike, we will have only ourselves to blame if we stand by and allow a few to make off with the wealth that all working Americans helped create while the nation’s infrastructure, educational system and political institutions decline. After all, the rich are doing what good market capitalists do: Charge what the market will bear.

Are we really going to let them fleece us at our children’s expense without even a debate?

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