Letter: It’s not about just hard work
I take issue with many of the presumptions presented by Bryan Whiting in his article, “We shouldn’t eliminate income inequality.” Due to editorial requirements I will limit my objections to the following statements made by Mr. Whiting: First he starts with the belief “The American economic system provides unlimited opportunity for income advancement.” He continues his course of reasoning with, “This opportunity is available for everyone” and continues by writing, “It requires taking personal responsibility by choosing to take command of our own life instead of using circumstance as an excuse.”
Countless reputable studies have documented the increasing economic hardships faced by a tragically large number of hard-working Americans. According to the Pew Research Center, “the wealth gap between America’s high income group and everyone else has reached record high levels since the economic recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-09, with a clear trajectory of increasing wealth for the upper-income families and no wealth growth for the middle- and lower-income families.” In 2013 “the gap between America’s upper-income and middle-income families has reached its highest level on record” (December 17, 2014).
Similar findings are shared by Forbes Magazine (April 23, 2016) in the article, “Lost Dream: 90% of American are Worse off Than They Were in the Early 1970s.”
These and similar findings confirm the frustration felt by many working Americans, many of us who still continue to live paycheck to paycheck. Mr. Whiting believes that economic prosperity “is available for everyone” and that all we need to do is work harder and be smarter.
I agree with this statement: We, the vast majority of Americans, need to work harder and smarter, and not continue to allow a small segment of the population to impose an economic system that fails to share the economic prosperity our great country has to offer. We, the vast majority of Americans, need to unite and utilize the democratic process to systematically implement measures that will benefit the vast majority of Americans.
Jim Coddington III
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