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Letter: Our economic outlook could use some adjusting

Let’s get something straight about the true condition of our economy: Sure, Wall Street looks prosperous (which means wealthy investors are having a field day) but real wages

! People out of college cannot look forward to mortgaging a house in just a few years the way high school graduate GIs could back when America was great.

Working class people cannot look forward to securing a high-paying factory job right up until retirement, and then live off a great pension. Happy Days are not here again. The overall quality of life in the USA is spiraling down, not up. The USA is not even in the top 10 percent of countries with the highest standard of living (according to World Economic Forum.) U.S. News & World Report puts us at No. 17. Trump’s “miracle” economy is smoke–and-mirrors.

Americans need to do a little reading, and stop treating socialism like a dirty word; it is tyranny and despotism that ruin nations, not socialism per se. And people need to get something else clear: by proposing to have government pay for universal health care and college tuition we are not advocating a socialist republic; we are venturing into a mixed economy in a representative democracy. There will be no gulags or book burnings.

As for “how do we pay for it?” divert funding from the military budget, that’s how. We don’t need $700 billion for weapons and manpower – we are not going to be invaded anytime soon, and we need to focus on the quality of everyday life of our citizens, just like the Netherlands, France, Germany and Switzerland do. Add to this a 70 percent wealth tax on folks making over $10 million, (people forget that in the 1950s we had a 90 percent rate!) and health care for all is quite doable. Let’s make America Decent and Civilized again.

Martin B. Penkala

Buffalo

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