Article posted: 11/5/2013 4:40 AM

Gap between rich, poor never greater

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Isn't it time that we Americans realize that our current economic and trade policies need to change? What used to be the middle class is now, in blunt honesty, the working poor.

Wage growth has remained flat for decades where now, even families with two parents no longer can survive on single incomes. Many carry debt and for those lucky enough to have a mortgage, surprise, your house is still owned by the bank until your final payment.

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Corporations, especially in the fast food industry, continue to push for low wages with the false excuse that providing employees a proper living wage will cause higher prices and lower hiring. Additionally, many transnational companies and politicians are now gunning for wider free trade agreements across the Pacific which will accelerate the loss of more American jobs.

Meanwhile, poverty is again on the rise and Americans are struggling to pay for their housing, are dealing with brutal health care costs, and are facing unsustainable education tuitions for their children. And still, corporate profits and CEO pay continue to skyrocket. The inequality between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us is now higher than just before the start of the Great Depression.

Why are these policies still acceptable when they are detrimental to the vast majority of us? Along with increasing the minimum wage, it is time that we demand a much more fair tax code where the wealthy and corporations do pay more because they do make more. And, it is time to even the playing field in this global economy by protecting what we Americans work for and what we Americans make here in our country by reinstating a fair tariff on imported goods.

Bill Malecki

Geneva

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