David M. Shribman's April 21 column ("Social Security, 21st-Century Style") made some valid points about the Social Security system. Unfortunately, one comment would leave readers with the impression that lower-paid participants subsidize higher-paid participants. The opposite is true.
A participant with a low salary receives payments that are 90 percent of pay (pay is essentially career pay adjusted for inflation). At the high end of the pay spectrum, a participant receives payments that are a composite: 90 percent of a portion of pay, 32 percent of a second portion and 15 percent of the remaining portion. These percentages were established around 1983 and have not changed. Clearly the subsidy is high-paid to low-paid.