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The Rich Get Richer

October 25, 1987

Regarding two Business section stories on Oct. 13, "Worth of 400 Richest Americans up 41% From 1986, Forbes Says," and "Firms Plan Tougher Wage Bargaining, Survey Shows":

Perhaps I am missing something here, but I find these articles despicable! "Lean and mean" is the operative expression these days as millions of people have lost their jobs. At the same time, millions both are fighting to hang on to their jobs and want benefits they as Americans deserve--hospital benefits and Social Security benefits to provide dignity now and in old age. The billionaires boast of a 41% increase in their wealth and yet they want to take away benefits and deny dignity to the working person. They will not rest until they have American workers' pay down to the level of Hong Kong and Taiwan laborers.

What has society come to? Worse yet, where is it going? What will happen to the permanently unemployed, the underemployed and employed older workers who are currently impoverished and destined for poverty in the future? How many new jobs have actually been created?

By jobs, I mean jobs that pay more than the minimum wage and provide benefits that ought to come out of this 41% increase in the billionaires' wealth. How much money do the billionaires need? If ever there was a case for socialism, isn't this it? Is this what capitalism is? If it is, then it is a euphemism for greed and self interest gone berserk!

Is this what President Reagan means when he talks about opportunity? Wealthy people get wealthier and we the poor get to serve them, lucky us!

ERIC MENDEZ

El Segundo

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