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Letters to the Editor
What you need to know for 01/21/2017

Rich keep getting richer while the rest of us stagnate or fall behind

Rich keep getting richer while the rest of us stagnate or fall behind

  • Rich keep getting richer while the rest of us stagnate or fall behind
  • ‘Takers’ have gained
  • Rich keep getting richer while the rest of us stagnate or fall behind

    John A. Gaetani’s Dec. 2 letter argues that taxing the rich takes away America’s motivation. He apparently has not noticed that the rich are doing exceedingly well in our country.

    While there has always been a gap between the rich and everybody else, in the past decade that gap has grown exponentially. Not too long ago the salary of a CEO was about 20 times that of a wage earner in his company. Now it is over 200 times that amount. In recent times, wages have remained flat. White-collar work is being spread over a shrinking workforce.

    Many blue-collar jobs have been replaced with robotics and outsourced to cheaper labor countries (consider the sweatshops manufacturing our garments). Still, the rich gained most of the income. Last year, for example, the very rich received over 90 percent of the nation’s income.

    Where does their wealth come from? Some is derived from their ability to increase profit while reducing labor costs. This includes flatter wages, reduced pension plans and health care benefits. Some financial folks created toxic products in the marketplace that tanked our economy while they reaped huge bonuses. Some exploited the assets of companies with workers losing jobs, while the “investors” took the money. Some have extracted rich resources from the earth while degrading the environment.

    While it is true that all of the rich do not exploit their workers or the environment, it is also true that their wealth continues to grow while everyone else stays flat or shrinks. According to the National Taxpayers Union, the bottom 50 percent earned less than $33,396 last year. Our poverty rate has increased.

    I personally am not envious of the rich, but I believe that they can afford to invest in our country more than they now do, while we struggle to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and transition to a more robust economy.

    Charles R. Blunt

    Middle Grove

    ‘Takers’ have gained upper hand on ‘makers’

    America is in the midst of a major, historically important class war. However, no one has correctly identified the classes. Some have said it’s rich vs. poor, haves vs. have-nots, black vs. white, etc. None of these is correct.

    America’s class war is simple and basic: It is between the “makers” and the “takers.” The “makers” (whatever their income level) are the ones who toil every day; who go to work, invest, create or hold jobs; who produce the products, services and income. The “takers” (whatever their color or creed) are the ones who whine, complain and attempt to benefit from the efforts and successes of the “makers.”

    Takers do this through ever-increasing reliance on maker-funded “social programs;” through increasing tax burdens on makers; through demands for more programs, more “benefits”; through changing the concept of a maker-funded benefit program to an “entitlement”; through more shouting for “fairness.”

    There is nothing fair about seizing the fruits of a maker’s labors to give to a taker who has not labored, and there is definitely no entitlement to do so.

    Our last election has proven that the “takers” now outnumber the “makers” and, I’m afraid, signals a continuing decline in our society and culture.

    Doug Cohen

    Rotterdam

    Christmas really doesn’t start till Christmas Eve

    Does anyone know when the Christmas season is?

    It starts with Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day, followed by the 12 days of Christmas to Jan. 6, known as Little Christmas. (Remember “a partridge in a pear tree?”)

    Some Eastern countries celebrate Christmas Jan. 6, when the three wise men followed the star, paid homage to the newborn Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

    Why do so many radio stations carry Christmas music from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, and none during the Christmas season? Why are all the parties, stage productions, concerts now, and none during the Christmas season?

    People are busy writing cards, cleaning and decorating homes, baking, cooking, buying and maybe mailing gifts — then the Christmas season starts and all is quiet after Christmas night — no parties, no music, no concerts.

    It would be awesome if all Christmas lights didn’t go on until Christmas Eve, then stayed [on] until Jan. 6. I think the whole early Christmas is pushed by the malls and other stores. We don’t shop much after Christmas Eve.

    I agree with Arlene Shako [Dec. 5 letter, “Respect religions by using proper sacred terms”]: Every time someone says “happy holiday,” I want to ask “which one?”

    Charlotte Distel

    Schenectady

    But where will freed sick and dying inmates go?

    Despite the “kindness” intended in your Dec. 6 editorial [“Release sick, dying inmates”], suggesting that old, enfeebled and terminally ill nonviolent inmates be “freed” so as to lower prison costs — where are all of these sick people, most without any social net, going to go?

    Never mind, at least the prison system’s bottom line will look better.

    Ken Bress

    Scotia

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