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Letters: More money for the middle class

August 09, 2013

Re "Middle-class mayday," Opinion, Aug. 4

Hedrick Smith says: "Our growth problem is weak demand, and so the path toward more robust growth for America today is to increase demand. That means that corporate America needs to share more of its record profits with average employees, who are the true job creators."

But how? Here's a thought: More private businesses could share 3% of their profits with the hourly or lower-salary employees.

Naysayers who predict increased prices shouldn't worry: This move would just redistribute profits, not boost prices. It's a better alternative to investing that money overseas.

Sure, increased local demand might boost some prices later, but that's what happens in a growing economy.

Jennifer Zaft

Huntington Beach

Yes, the middle class is hurting, but what has President Obama done? He was given an $830-billion stimulus at the beginning of his first term, and we've seen a huge increase in the number of part-time jobs. This won't grow the middle class.

One of the bright spots in the gloomy Obama economy is the U.S. oil and gas boom. Imagine how much more energy the U.S. could produce, leading not only to energy independence, but also to more well-paying middle-class jobs. But federal regulators would have to get out of the way first.

After more than five years of the Obama presidency, blaming Republicans for all our economic woes is getting a little stale.

Janet Polak

Beverly Hills

Smith's op-ed article displays clearly the problem of the wage freeze on American workers since the l970s, even though their productivity had increased by some 80%.

The great reduction in union membership during the past 30 years has been a very important cause. Without the collective bargaining power that only unions can provide, there's little incentive for employers to raise wages to match productivity.

With increased wages, middle-class workers would buy more of the goods and services produced by American corporations. The U.S. economy would be the ultimate beneficiary of this fairer distribution of wealth.

Edward C. Bayan

Northridge

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