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Excessive inequality

To the Editor:

I am amazed when rich politicians charge that redistribution of income is class warfare. Indeed, class warfare has been waged for the past three decades, but it was the rich who have redistributed income from the middle class to themselves.

The income of the top 20 percent of households is now greater than the other 80 percent combined, and they own 85 percent of the nation’s total wealth. Yet they whine about paying 60 percent of the taxes.

The top 1 percent alone own more than 30 percent of the nation’s wealth. The top 1 percent grabbed 65 percent of the nation’s income growth between 2002 and 2007. After declining in the market crash, in 2010 they rebounded, securing a jaw-dropping 93 percent of the nation’s growth in income.

How did this extreme inequity come about? In large part, it is due to reducing the taxes on capital gains to 15 percent (and that’s only when stocks are sold). The average tax rate on the richest 400 households was 16.6 percent in 2007 compared with an average of 20.4 percent for all taxpayers.

Moreover, they didn’t create jobs as they allege; they reduced the number of good-paying jobs by outsourcing manufacturing and services while bringing in 50 million immigrants to depress wages. Average hourly wages in the private sector have stagnated for the past 35 years while the income of the rich has soared.

This excessive inequality, and the political power it confers, changes a democracy into a plutocracy.

Joseph L. Daleiden

Woodstock

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