Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

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.

Marshall McComb

Baker City