The Free Press, Mankato, MN

December 2, 2010

Hot topic: Are American workers getting their fair share?

— Leland C. McCormick, Mankato, had his letter published in the Nov. 27 Free Press.

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Editor Joe Spear


— Some people seem to think that anyone who calls for workers to get a larger share of the economic pie is guilty of communist sympathies. But a larger share is just what is called for because the American worker has been getting shafted for the last 40 years. A larger share would simply be a fair share.

Since 1970, the average worker’s income has increased only about 44 percent, which is an actual decrease of 13 percent in buying power. At the same time, the average income of those making $200,000 has increased by about 700 percent and those making over a million by 2,000 percent.

Feel free to check these figures anyway and anywhere you want.

American corporations just reported their largest profits since the 1950s, expecting to earn $1.66 trillion this year! And CEOs are making an average of 263 times the average worker (up from 42 times in 1980). Yet, jobs are still being lost to downsizing and outsourcing. And benefits are still being cut.

Trickle-down has failed, and it is time to allow the tax cuts for the wealthiest to expire.

Call me a socialist. Call me a communist. Call me anything you want, but it is high time for American workers to demand their fair share of the wealth that they have created through their hard work and sacrifice.

The greatest irony is that many workers (or would-be workers if they could find a job) continue to support these failed policies of Reagan and Bush. I know. I know. Obama has had two whole years to fix it.