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Labor, opportunity built this country; private companies looted it

To the editor:

In his Nov. 29 column, “Taxing the 40 percent won’t solve our problems,” Seth Grossman claims that 60 percent of Americans are supported by the other 40 percent of Americans. The 60 percent that he is referring to includes Romney’s “47 percent” of Americans that do not pay federal income tax and 13 percent of civilian government workers.

Anyone can Google "47 percent" and see a large number of articles that debunk the 47 percent myth by decomposing the number more rationally and not limiting their analysis to one misused summary number. Many of these criticisms are penned by Republicans, moderates and conservatives. Romney lost because of his ignorance, evident in his infamous comment, and even died-in-the-wool Republicans could see that he was clueless on social and economic issues due to his privilege.  

The 13 percent myth is also is not factually based. In 2010 and 2011 conservative political action committees such as the Heritage Foundation sponsored a series of conventions that fallaciously compared government and nongovernment salaries and general compensation in an apples-to-oranges manner.

Grossman and others who use this argument are not considering what these numbers truly represent. In fact, with a clean reading of American history, the reverse of their argument is true.

Labor, opportunity and scientific research built this country. Private companies, capitalizing on Reagan's deregulation and other myopic policies, have essentially raped America over the last three decades and have tried to pin the blame of economic stagnation on government. We now have a dysfunctional class system of haves, strugglers, and have-nots. Too many people have primrose paths, while others are locked in social, economic and financial straightjackets.

As for Grossman's Dec. 13 column question of whether Stockton geology students can conduct their own experiments, it can best be answered by answering a more general and prudent question: Why do conservative attorneys, businessmen, polticians and religious zealots believe that their opinions on the free market, morality, opportunity for all, and science for public policy are more valid than those who are actually experts in these areas? And why do they resort to unsound and bias-laden arguments? It is because their world is small, and such individuals arrogantly see their sacred cows are more important than the truth and well-being of other citizens.
 
Jeff Lehman
Northfield


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