Income inequality: Theme of 2012
To the editor:
Your editorial cartoon of Jan. 13 depicts Mitt Romney in unfavorable light as an out-of-touch Republican presidential candidate.His personal wealth (around $250 million) and his recent comments have made him a sort of poster child for the top 1 percent of Americans.
A former corporate raider with Bain Capital, Mr. Romney says, "I like
being able to fire people," and "Corporations are people."On top of
that, he is reluctant to release his personal income tax returns,
probably because he pays an overall tax rate of only 15 percent (and
possibly less) on his considerable income.He prefers that this be kept
quiet, along with any discussion of U.S. income and wealth inequality.
But the inequality issue is not going away.Despite Republicans'
avoidance of this issue or their decrying it as "class warfare," most
of us realize that we have become a society more unequal than at any
time since the 1920s.Automation, globalization, union-busting, and
legalized financial abuse have drained middle-class purchasing power
and stymied upward mobility.Health care and public education are in
critical decline.Most of us have been left behind, while Romney and
his cohorts pursue a never-ending quest for more money ...and the
political power to cut their taxes even further.
The Occupy Movement has set the stage for a presidential general
election properly centering around economic inequality.President Obama
zeroed in on this with an inspiring, major speech at Osawatomie, Kan.,
on Dec. 6, in which he rejected continuance of "you're on your own"
economics and low tax rates for the wealthy ...and gave a positive
plug for Marvin Windows.His economic program moves us in the right
direction. (See WhiteHouse.gov.)
Among many additional resources and ideas we can build on, Bill Moyers
is back with an excellent new series on PBS which digs deeply into this
pivotal issue - at BillMoyers.com .And contract.rebuildthedream.com offers a comprehensive grassroots guide.
If we join together in full and open recognition of the dilemma we
face, and if we energetically work to correct it, we can perform
invaluable service to our country and the generations to come.