California Forum

The Conversation feedback: What do you think about the growing disparity between the rich and poor?

Much of the middle class finds itself in an anxiety-inducing squeeze while the nation’s top 1 percent garners more and more of the income pie. Last Sunday’s Conversation explored the growing inequality in the United States and how many Americans don’t earn enough to support a middle-class family. We asked the question: What do you think about the growing disparity between the rich and poor?


A squeeze play

Re “Squeezing the middle class” (Forum, April 13): Susan Sward quotes author Thomas Frank, who blames some conservatives for “reducing corporations’ tax burdens.” In fact, the corporate tax rate in the United States is the highest in the world.

Even with the so-called tax breaks, the effective rate is about 35 percent higher than the world average. Perhaps that is one of the reasons that well-paying middle-class jobs in this country are disappearing.

– John Caldwell, Rocklin

From Facebook

Zachariah Smith – The state of California has the direct ability to fix this issue within its borders without raising the minimum wage.

Small- and medium-size businesses that serve our local communities are the backbone of our economy and provide more employment opportunities than most corporations.

California must rebuild our economy from the ground up, and it is why I want the income tax levied on revenues earned by sole proprietorships and general partnerships to be repealed. Giving this money back to our local communities will give these businesses the opportunity provide higher wages, employ more people, invest in equipment and offer better quality of life to our hard working citizens.

This isn’t even mentioning the fact the state of California can decide to not collect state taxes on those who earn minimum wage.

Sandra Ortiz – This article is ridiculous. Minimum-wage jobs are intended for those going to school or college. They’re a steppingstone to higher paying jobs, not a “living wage.” I knew this in high school! I don’t blame the rich for the middle-class squeeze. I blame higher taxes for stuff I don’t use or need that the government requires me to pay for. Come on, sacbee. You need to quit blaming successful Americans who do well for themselves!

Janet Thew – Are you seriously positing that low-wage service jobs are not the majority of new jobs now, or that most people on the lower end of the economic scale actually have choices about moving up the old-fashioned way? Are you that divorced from reality today? Go visit a job training center, and a women’s shelter, and a food bank, and do it all without a car.

All it takes is to meet the actual people you sneer at to understand that you and I are fortunate beyond measure to have all the things we take for granted. We were given a hand up, many hands up, to get to the point of comfort where we can look down upon those still struggling. We benefited from government in more ways than you can count, and we have a responsibility not to forget that. Selfishness is what your words imply, Sandra.

Terri Scrivens Kline – If you would take the time to do a little research you will find that the majority of minimum-wage workers now are middle-class family members who often have to work several jobs to make ends meet. And they are on food assistance programs because of the tax-dodging billionaire corporations that we subsidize via your hard earned tax dollars.

Eric Yadao – I take this article with a grain of salt. It’s not news; it’s an income/wealth redistribution advocacy piece. Haha. The conclusions were drawn long before the first keystroke.