Gross income inequality explains consumer attitudes | Letters to the editor

Why do most Americans view the economy as poor, even though economic conditions have drastically improved under President Biden? Wages are up, production is up, goods are more readily available, and some prices have come down.

One answer is that the pay of CEOs averaged $15.3 million and median worker pay averaged $31,672, a ratio of 603 to 1, according to the progressive Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

The median wage of a Dollar Tree store worker is $14,702. The CEO received $13.98 million in total compensation (a ratio of 951-to-1) and the average Dollar Tree employee’s wages decreased by 4.4%. It’s easy to see why these low wage employees have a negative view of the economy, even though economic data paints a different picture.

Fewer than half of all U.S. households own any stock, with the richest 1% of households holding 53.8% of all stock. The bottom 90% own just 11% of all stock. I think you can see what’s happening here. Low-wage workers can see that nothing has changed for most of us.

In 1989, the average corporate CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 44-to-1. Now, for one example, at LiveNation, which owns TicketMaster, the CEO’s annual compensation was $139 million in 2022, with the average employee earning $25,673 — a ratio of 5,414-to-1.

Until workers earn more, and corporate executives increase wages instead of increasing corporate greed, the economic picture will only look great to the wealthy.

Sylvia Whiting, West Palm Beach

A savant of ignorance

Finally! Some of those who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection were recently sentenced to many years behind bars as they should have been based on what was proven to be everything from seditious behavior to conspiracy to overthrow a free and fair presidential election to keep Donald Trump in power.

Proud Boy members and Oath Keepers face long-term sentences. Yet the perpetrator, Trump, is sitting pretty with a double digit lead in the polls. A little bit of the “Manchurian Candidate” theory has hit the GOP when six of eight presidential candidates at the debate raised their hands to say yes, when asked if they would vote for Trump even if he’s convicted of a felony.

Trump is a savant of ignorance and the master of his followers, who obviously ignored the lawsuits arising from so many failures that his father had to bail him out. Not to mention that he’s a womanizer who was recently found liable for sexual abuse.

What is the allure he has with so many people? I used to think it was only the uneducated, but that rule has faded. Are so may people like Trump? That’s a scary thought, but real!

Linda Gefen, Boca Raton 

Better off with Biden

In Neal Bluestein’s recent ludicrous letter, he “defies” anyone to prove that we’re better off with President Biden. Bluestein is staying true to Trump’s game of deflecting and distracting people from the really important events in our country, including four indictments and the arrest of a former president.

The letter writer claims that only the “filthy rich” don’t mind higher gas prices and mortgage rates. He knows that our president doesn’t control gas prices, nor interest rates. I remind him that his distractions haven’t made us forget who gave those tax breaks to the truly “filthy rich.” He blames the Fentanyl crisis on our current president, which was a problem with his favorite president, who said he would solve the problem. He says our current president is buying from dictators. Only one former president, Trump, was in awe of dictators, and once declared he was the “apple of Putin’s eye.”

Enough with distractions, deflections and diversions. We’ve had seven years of it, and millions of us are now enjoying having a president who works hard, has compassion for all and doesn’t commit crimes.

Ellen Brown, West Palm Beach