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August 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Enough with helping the wealthy

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To me, the most disturbing fact of American life is that large numbers of poorly educated people, especially the young, are not in a position to take part in the American Dream.

The well-off of our society are doing better than ever. Thanks to the Federal Reserve, if you had the means to buy the Dow Jones Average in the first year of the administration and the guts to sell it now, you would make a 100 percent return on your money. If you have the means to qualify for a home or auto loan, you will be able to save about half the interest payment that you would have been making in 2008.

I am amazed that it’s so easy for politicians to write off the undereducated. The poor get food stamps, housing vouchers and free health care, but that’s not the American Dream.

Politicians are so bound up in their own versions of the truth that they want to outlaw jobs that pay less than $9 an hour; jobs that might suit the poorly educated. Additionally, taxes such as Obamacare add to the expense of hiring poorly skilled workers.

If these self-serving politicians really wanted to help the poorly educated of this country, they would immediately abolish minimum wage laws nationwide. Let’s let more people find employment, learn job skills, and get a start toward the American Dream.

And it’s time to let the well-off fend for themselves.

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  1. It's definitely time to let the well-off fend for themselves.

    We don't need more jobs that pay less than $9 per hour. We need to educate and train more workers to fill $19+ per hour jobs. Some reports say there are as many as three million of these available and not enough workers qualified to fill them.

  2. It's a global economy. The U.S. workers and their products and services compete with the world markets and economies. It's nice to wave a magic wand and pay Americans whatever they want, but wages don't get set that way. Never have and likely never will.

    Carmine D

  3. Carmine,
    Are the costs of living as high in those nations that pay substantially less than the poverty wages we allow here? Perhaps you could wave that same magic wand and reduce the cost of goods and services to a level equivalent to that in poor nations?

  4. It's a joke! "We need to educate and train more workers to fill $19+ per hour jobs." And once those jobs are filled, it will take $40 per hour jobs to meet the minimum requirements as prices rise. As a kid, I worked for 55 cents an hour and was happy to get the job. The fledgling restaurant chain, McDonald's, sold hamburgers for a dime, French fries for 15 cents. 3 bucks bought me 10 gallons of gas and I received a free glass with each fill-up. A pack of cigarettes cost 30 cents. Seems like some folks just don't understand how economic systems work. I thought if I could make a hundred bucks a week, I'd be set for life. Now, it's tough to make it on a hundred bucks a day! Pay more and prices go up to compensate. There will never be a "minimum" wage high enough to offset that. But, by locking some out of the work force in setting unrealistic "minimums," they do a disservice to the entry level worker who now finds it nearly impossible to get work of any kind. With friends like that, those unfortunates need no enemies!

  5. Define "helping." It's helping to leave someone alone? Taxpayers give almost everyone who wants it an almost free BS via grants and "loans" that are not repaid. So please define "uneducated." Ed is onto something by inference: Get the government OUT OF every blessed aspect of our lives. Eliminate wage and price controls, government subsidies to business and "families," grants and loans to "students." ELIMINATE programs that are not in the enumerated powers.

  6. The $19-an-hour jobs are unfilled because the potential employees went to "higher" education. Many will not hire the "over qualified" because those people won't STAY at a job that's technical rather than "professional." More students need to be steered into technical schools BEFORE college.

  7. http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/10/pf/emerg...
    The letter writer is looking at things in way too narrow of a perspective. Two thirds of the country are basically bust. While in most cases the very well-educated people are better off your seeing people with six-figure incomes in bankruptcy court.

    Wealth inequality in the United States is comparable to Third World countries. That's why nearly half the country is currently getting some type of assistance and many more will be getting help before this is all over.

  8. Ms. Anderson is correct. There are millions of trades people that are going to be retiring in the next few decades and there is no one to take their place. Plus many good colleges are charging well in excess of $50,000 a year. College graduates are sitting on $900 billion in student loan debt which is more than outstanding credit card debt.

    You need a job that pays a hell of a lot of money to get a return on the $200,000 that you spent on college. Kids aren't finding that.

    I studied mathematics and economics at UCLA in the 1970s and got my degree in economics. I paid about $2000 a year. Today UCLA charges in the neighborhood of $54,000 a year. They're out of their Flippin minds.

  9. "Carmine,
    Are the costs of living as high in those nations that pay substantially less than the poverty wages we allow here?"

    Mark: It's called devaluing the dollar. Print more [by last admission from Fed Chief Ben Bernanke it is $3 BILLION a day] and prices of goods and services go up. As well as wages. It's called feeding the fires of inflation. Watch out. What goes up, like the exuberant stock market which is way out ahead of the economy, will also come down. The questions are how soon, how quick, and how much.

    Carmine D

  10. http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=FXE+Basi...
    Carmine.. All due respect but you're watching way too much FOXNews. The euro was close to 160 five years ago. Today it's in the 120s. The dollar has not been devalued at all. It's much stronger than it was years ago.
    The stock market typically has two corrections a year. The bottom line is a buck invested in the stock market in the late 1800s is worth $28,000 today factoring in dividend reinvestment. Nothing else comes close! if you don't participate in the stock market you do so at your own financial peril.
    A lot of people are buying gold today. A buck invested in gold in the late 1800s would be worth approximately $80 today. $80 versus $28,000. Take your pick!

  11. That old new trickle down and neoliberal trope that we need to be extensively trained and educated to compete in the globaloney world is getting old. It's clear we're wage slaves in a corporate totalitarian state.

  12. Carmine,
    For how long have the "inflation fairies" been warning us that hyperinflation was "just around" the corner again? These CNBC/Faux Business channel screechers should be ignored for having been consistently wrong. Now what was the cost of living in those poor nations again versus here in the U.S.?

  13. Its here Mark, at least the early signs. Look at prices of gas and food. UP. What's kept the lid on inflation is the slow U.S. and global economy. Once the economies takes off, and they will, interest rates will go up. And bingo: Hyperinflation. Fueled by the Fed's QE 1, 2, 3 and on to infinity.

    Carmine D

  14. "Today it's in the 120s. The dollar has not been devalued at all."

    Simple Gerry. Euro countries' economies are worse off than ours. And that's not saying a lot for the U.S.

    Carmine D

  15. Carmine.. Food and energy are a function of worldwide demand factors. There are millions of people driving automobiles today that were riding bicycles 10 years ago. The United States has a fraction of the worlds population and produces a fraction of the world's output. What happens in the rest of the world affects us here directly, especially in areas like food and energy.

    Inflation is 70% wages. When you start seeing double-digit wage increases year after year inflation will pick up dramatically. Wage deflation is a bigger problem now than wage inflation. You can't dramatically increase prices unless people have the money to pay the higher prices. Look at my earlier post. Two thirds of the people in this country can lay their hands on a grand. It's difficult to increase prices when people have no money.

    The printing of money by the Fed is not devaluing the dollar and not increasing inflationary factors. It's keeping things afloat until aggregate demand picks up and the economy can move forward on its own. Today the worldwide economy is growing at about 3%. One of the slowest rates since globalization began decades ago. Much below 3% and we are in another global recession. Hyperinflation should be the least of our worries.

  16. I guess we've gotten off the track. The subject is helping the wealthy. I would argue that they don't need it. That's one of the advantages of being wealthy.

  17. Future - "At some point Ed and others must understand that kids in school and dropouts must take responsible for their own situation."

    rusty57 - "We're not starting out with good material here. Just take a look at high school graduation rates."

    You both miss the point, who in the working class can afford higher education? Not everyone leaving school is a dropout. We have a disparity problem with income. The wealthiest people in the country sucked 93% of the income earned out of the countries wealth since the recession started to recover. When will you nay sayers understand that working class wages have been stagnant for over 30 years?

    Future "When the government supports their lack of initiative with free abortions, free cell phones, food stamps, public housing, etc. You get what you paid for -nothing."

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/...

    More of the "welfare queen" BS started as a southern strategy by Lee Atwater, who later apologized on his death bed.

    A note to Ed Dornlas, good letter but for the Obamacare tax comment. The only people who will pay that so-called "tax" are those not purchasing health care, it's a penalty not a tax. It's the same plan designed by the right wing think tank Heritage Foundation and implemented by Romney in Massachusetts.

  18. "Wealth inequality in the United States is comparable to Third World countries." Your statement of 8:55 a.m isn't quite correct, Zippert1 (Gerry Hageman).

    Of the 136 countries listed at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications..., the US is #41 in a ranking of Gini coefficients from highest to lowest. To refresh your memory, the higher a country's gini coefficient , the less equal its distribution of wealth, values range from 100% (no equality, one person has it all) to 0% (perfect equality - everyone has the same).

    The US was at 45.0% in 2007. At that time, or more recently, countries with greater income equality included: Guyana, 44.6, 2007; Uganda, 44.3, 2009; Nicaragua, 40.5, 2010; Venezuela, 39.0, 2011; Ireland, 33.9, 2010; Estonia, 31.3, 2010; Pakistan, 30.6, FY07-08; Austria, 26.0, 2007 and at #136, Sweden, 23.0, granted - data from 2005. No, not ALL of the counties with greater wealth equality than the U.S. are "third world countries", but quite a variety are. Even the right's favorite whipping boy, Russia, has greater income equality than we do (gini 42.1, 2010)! Don't credit us for what we don't actually have!

  19. You hit it at 10:41, Carmine D! Comparative currency prices don't, and CAN'T, distinguish the best of a poor lot from the "pretty good" of an excellent lot.

    Additionally - about yours of 9:20 regarding the stock market: Right on! Your area doesn't have as much mining history as the north state, but... Miners KNOW, whether they admit it or not, that a period of Bonanza is ALWAYS followed by a period, often longer, of Borrasca! Wait for it.

  20. Not valid to compare the American dollar to the Euro. The EU is doing a Cyprus every other week. There is terror in the EU values. Because our dollar has ONLY lost 25% of it's value compared to the EU is a good thing??????

  21. So economically speaking, check out the military hype on Syria. Another general looking for another star. We might actually get some of our troops out of Afghanistan to for a general to find another star, he's gotta lead a charge somewhere. BRING out troops home from Europe. Drone out Assad and be done with it. Stop dumping out currency overseas while American seniors are cold, hungry, without RX.