Letter: It's not getting easier for the middle class

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John Balentine bemoans that certain groups of people who don’t feel adequately represented in the equality race are starting to do something about it. (“Here’s Something: Is equality really what we want?”) I do not think that people want equality of outcome; they simply want more equitable outcomes, with a narrower disparity than has existed, and grown, for the last 40 or so years.

The rich and favored of the U.S. have rankled at having to pay taxes according to their ability since FDR was able to implement the New Deal to help solve the problems caused by the Great Depression. The rich and favored have increasingly used their wealth, which never really diminished, to buy elections and politicians over the years and to steal back the power that honest working people developed by unionizing.

Does Balentine remember, or know, that in the 1950s, major corporate CEOs earned about 30 to 40 times as much as their average employee? Now that ratio is about 300 or 400 times as much. Middle-class families now must have both parents working to even approach a living wage, but in the 1950s through the ’70s, my father, for instance, a blue-collar worker, was able to support a wife and eight children on one paycheck.

Middle-class folk who want to join the upper class will work unbelieveably hard to get there. But middle-class folk who just want a normal life with a day’s good pay for a day’s hard work now have to work twice as hard for half as much, and that suits those poor, unequal rich and favored just fine.

Michael Fasulo
South Portland