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Telling facts

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Telling facts

The letter “Telling quotes” (Feb. 25) represents some fine cherry-picking from historical figures to support a view of the “trickle-down” theory of economics.

So here is a quote in response: “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will (bring) about greater justice. ... This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power”: Pope Francis.

But instead of “telling quotes,” how about some telling facts:

• America's top 1 percent have doubled their share of pre-tax income since the 1970s.

• Wages and salaries — the lifeline of the middle class — have shrunk from half of the gross domestic product to 42 percent.

• Forty-six million Americans now live in poverty.

• The U.S. now ranks next to Chile in income inequality.

The conservative economic philosophy that argues that allowing the wealthy to run their businesses unencumbered by regulation or fair taxation leads to more jobs and income for the rest of society should be put to rest. Sharing the wealth for the common good is not only a logical imperative, but a moral one as well. And government's role in assisting in the equitable distribution of a country's riches is a necessity and a hallmark of a truly civilized society.

Robert Jedrzejewski


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