Richard Hughes, Crystal
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Numbers show why disparity is an issue
In response to the writer who can’t understand the “fetish” some have with the incomes of others: I am a retired public schoolteacher. My average salary was around $50,000 a year, and I was perfectly happy about that. I worked my butt off my entire career. An eight-hour workday would have been a short one.
During the school year, weekends and evenings were most often devoted to schoolwork, at the expense of family time. A recent article in the Star Tribune reported that an executive with Supervalu received $12 million for about eight months of work. At my salary, I would have to work 240 years to make that amount. C’mon, isn’t something out of whack here?
Tom Cornish, Minneapolis
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The Business Roundtable says that Social Security and Medicare cuts are needed. The members of this association of CEOs want more while paying less, and they’ve succeeded. As a group last year, the Fortune 500 companies paid an effective tax rate of 8 percent, with 25 of the largest 100 paying no taxes.
Since the mid-1990s, America’s CEOs have realized 15 percent to 25 percent increases in compensation every year. American workers have seen wage stagnation, forced unpaid vacations, increased medical contributions and jobs shipped overseas.
The top 1 percent now captures 96 percent of the nation’s income gains. Before supply-side tax policies started in the 1980s, 65 percent of the nation’s income growth went to the lower 99 percent, fueling the economy.
The president and Congress all make more than $175,000 a year — seven times the average household income in America. They receive free, lifetime medical benefits and generous pensions. Over the next few days, they will show us who they truly represent: The few who don’t need Social Security (because they make the equivalent of a monthly Social Security check in minutes), or the many for whom Social Security is (or will be) needed to survive.
Carl Lee, Minnetonka
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It is not logical to think corporations can pay less to the government and less to their workers and have the cost of government go down.
Becky Carpenter, Minneapolis
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The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.