U.S. is like frogs in a pot of water
To the editor:
It is said that if you put a bullfrog into a pot of boiling water, he will jump out. But if you put him in a pot of cool water and slowly increase the temperature to a boil, the frog will stay and meet his demise. That is what I believe is happening to America.
In my previous letter I explained that America can only exist in balance and part of the problem is the imbalance in the U.S. tax code. A few weeks ago a well-known multi-billionaire was interviewed by a national news agency. In the interview he stated that the problem with American was people like himself. In 1982 the total wealth of the Forbes 400 wealthiest list was approximately $169 billion and had 13 billionaires. Today that list totaled $2.4 trillion and had 400 billionaires. That revelation is a gain of 14.2 times.
This information was a real eye-opener for me. In the early 1980ís trickle down economics (Reaganomics) was introduced into the American tax code. At that time, for example, a union pipe welder earned about $12 per hour on the check. Today that number is $36 per hour on the check, or a multiple of X3.
According to the Consumer Price Index, the inflation factor from 1980 to 2017 is a multiple of 3.75. At that rate, had the welder kept with inflation he would be making $45 per hour instead of $36. On the other hand, if one multiplies 169 billion X 3.75, the result is approximately 634 billion. The 2.4 trillion is approximately 4 times the inflation rate. This is the real redistribution of wealth in America. It is also a real danger to our freedom. With their great wealth, they have bought news media outlets and stocked them with bought and paid for commentators to broadcast their views using slanted half-truths and outright lies to fool the public into believing that more unfettered tax deductions for business is better for us. All the while complaining that entitlement programs are too expensive.
Presently the U.S. tax code provides huge tax deductions for business and business investments. The major problem is that these investments revolve around automation, innovation, renovation, mergers, and acquisitions, making them greed driven. At the same time there are not incentives to hire except through necessity. This pattern needs to be reversed. By making hiring a substantial tax deduction and the others necessity driven, the common American gets direct results for the deduction instead of the trickle-down effect. Illegal immigration goes away and inflation can be controlled by interest rates and properly vetted legal immigration.
If we stand by and let these tax advantages continue unfettered, then we are frogs in a pot and can expect the same result. We must demand balance in the tax code that promotes hiring with good pay and benefits. If we donít do something, we may have a paper in Washington that says we are free, but the billionaires will hold the mortgage on it.
James L. Allen, Brazil