Sorry, Dave Majernik (“Inequality Gimmick,” Jan. 31 letters), but you do not understand the situation at all. Progressives are not denigrating individuals for their wealth. They are criticizing a system that favors those who are already rich. They are critical of neoliberal economic policies that, over several decades, have redistributed money upward toward the wealthiest among us and created the largest income gap in almost a century.
They are critical of the fact that the wealthy pay a lower percentage of taxes than people with more modest incomes. They are critical of the tax loopholes that allow wealthy individuals to stash their money in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying taxes in the United States. They are critical of the fact that hedge fund managers don’t have to declare windfall profits as income. They are critical of the fact that a quarter of U.S. corporations pay no taxes at all.
Progressives are not calling wealthy people “cheaters,” as Mr. Majernik claims. Most wealthy people play inside the rules. But that’s the problem. The system itself is rigged, and the rules need to be changed. Some people work 40 hours a week and live below the poverty level. Others increase their wealth by simply moving their money around.
So progressives are not using “income inequality rhetoric” to get votes. They actually believe in creating an economic system that is more equitable. I hope I have provided enough “proof” for Mr. Majernik to understand why.
North Point Breeze