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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Class in America, the Myth and Realities

June 08, 2005

Re "The Upward Mobility Myth," Commentary, June 5: Michael Kinsley wrote a very thought-provoking article about our national myth and the major newspapers that are examining that myth.

At its conclusion Kinsley says, "The problem, in short, may not be that reality is receding from the national myth. The problem may be the myth."

I would like to suggest a third alternative: our different interpretations of the myth.

Kinsley also chides the Washington Post for not joining in on the examination. I would challenge Kinsley to lead the Los Angeles Times and its readers in a debate about this most fundamental of subjects.

Fred Ferketic

Newport Beach

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A Kinsley column on class? Wow! Society is replete with examples of class biases.

Students' SAT scores are directly correlated with the affluence of the communities in which they live. The overwhelming number of people executed are the poor; rarely does a rich person ever get the death sentence.

And, ah yes, healthcare. Whether you get some of the finest on Earth or no access whatsoever depends on your income and wealth. That the number of people without health insurance is 45 million and growing says something about upward mobility today.

Class has long been a taboo subject in our public discourse but has existed since Day One. Anyone who denies this is simply deluding themselves.

Steve Varalyay

Torrance

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