Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

December 27, 2013

Article takes good news, turns it against the wealthy

Again, the media is attempting to incite class warfare (AP survey: U.S. income gap is holding back economy, Cumberland Times-News, Dec. 18) by taking two pieces of good news and turning it against the rich.

The article states that the earnings (adjusted for inflation) of the middle 20 percent increased in the last 20 years as did the earnings of the richest 5 percent, and that this results in people spending more and that helps the economy. This sounds like good news all around.

But wait! We can make a big deal out of this and make the rich people look bad. The rich got a 17 percent raise while the middle class only got a 5 percent raise. And the rich don’t spend as much of their increase as do the middle class, so this holds back the economy. See, those bad rich people are doing it to us again.

The article further states that “a wide gap in pay limits the ability of the ... middle ... to improve their living standards.” Now, if I get a 5 percent raise and my neighbor gets a 17 percent raise, how does that keep me from raising my living standards with the 5 percent I got? Remember, this is adjusted for inflation, so it is a real increase in income.

According to the article, this is the opinion of a “majority” of more than three dozen economists surveyed by The Associated Press. I wonder what the percentage was that constituted a “majority” and what the ratio was of liberals to conservatives in the interviewed group.

Leon Dillman

Cumberland

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