Sunday, December 21, 2014

Response to the letter in Sunday's Daily Star on wealth inequality

Here is the letter I sent to the Star this morning (  The author of the target letter snarkily blamed Obama for the recent increases in economic inequality.  My rebuttal LTE follows. (h/t AZBlueMeanie - lots more at the post in Blog for Arizona)

===============

Re: The December 21st letter "Look at who is leading as middle class declines"

Revealing partial truths is one way to mislead the readership. Yes, the great economic divide between rich and poor has increased during President Obama's tenure.  But what this partial truth masks is the larger truth, namely that the wealth gap has been widening for the last 30-odd years.  (For example, see http://gabriel-zucman.eu/files/SaezZucman2014.pdf.)  And that widening has continued regardless of who occupied the White House and regardless of which political party was in control of the Congress.  

There are more fundamental causes of the great economic inequality in this country that transcend political party.  Tax policy is one of them.  Reagan and Bush tax cuts have created a booming fiscal engine that channels money upwards from the working class to the uber-rich - the top 0.1%.  The net effect has been to reverse the post-world-war II growth.   The sad fact is that this engine has continued under both Republican and Democratic administrations.  

To get our country back on track and restoring an economically healthy and consuming middle class, we need a drastic revision of public policy.  That will require bipartisan action on several fronts, tax policy being just one.

There is no advocacy for class warfare in my remarks.  That's already covered by Warren Buffett's observation:  “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”  America does not need that kind of victory.

No comments:

Post a Comment