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Wealth Often Is Won at Workers' Expense

January 23, 2003

Re "Why Treat the Rich Poorly?" Commentary, Jan. 19: I wouldn't advocate treating anyone poorly. I would, however, make a distinction between disliking rich people and being angered and dismayed at the arrogance that is too often attendant to wealth. Whether inherited or built from scratch, wealth is never gained as the result of singular achievement. Yet many CEOs and other executives in large companies routinely make 10, 20, even 100 times the average salaries in their own companies, while rank-and-file workers producing the goods and services generating profits teeter precariously between employment and financial ruin.

It's not so much a sense of jealousy that the wealthy can afford the trivial luxuries of life unavailable to the less well-heeled that causes class friction. It's the reality, sometimes lost on the rich, that they are able to reach the top-shelf items only by standing on the backs of middle- and lower-income working people whose considerable toil makes much of their success possible.

Tim Shaw

Irvine

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