Life is good for rich, but the rest struggle

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 29, 2014 

The newspaper's opinion page recently had a cartoon showing how big companies are squeezing the rest of us off the Internet "highway" by buying "paid special access." The New York Times has been running a series on inequality called "The Great Divide." One would have to be deaf and blind not to see the growing inequality in our nation and worldwide.

Thomas Piketty, a French mathematician and economist, has written a book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" in which he analyzes hundreds of years of tax records of France, the U.K., the U.S., Germany, and Japan. He found that as economies develop, the rich get richer -- capital creates more wealth than income -- and the rest of society gets the crumbs. The middle of the 20th century was the one exception because of the massive government spending during two world wars and on stimulus programs like the New Deal and the Marshall Plan.

Since the Reagan presidency, the rich have gotten richer and the rest of the nation has been treading water, fighting to keep its head above the surface. Things that used to serve the public good are now for sale to the highest bidder.

High-occupancy vehicle lanes (HVO), reserved for the exclusive use of vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers in cities like Miami and Los Angeles, are being replaced with toll lanes where the fees vary based on the traffic flow. Good for the rich, but not so good for the environment and the rest of us.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service