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Jan-16-2014 13:25printcomments

Addressing the Income Equality Quandary

While the Ten Commandments declare, "Thou Shalt Not Steal", today's marketplace is rampant with multiple violations. If every alleged "thief" of consumer cash were incarcerated, we'd shortly run out of prison space.

income equality

(SALEM) - While the jingle-jingle of Christmas Bells has since subsided, gargantuan greenbacks are still very much in circulation. Recent news headlines have alerted us that more than half of the US Senate has now reached the "millionaire bracket". Why all the racket?

"Income Equality" as a frontline issue did not begin with the Obama Administration nor with Lyndon Johnson's clarion call to declare a War on Poverty. Nor did so-called "class war" start with Karl Marx. One can actually go back to the Bible to read a litany of material about fellow humans being hungry and unclothed. Remember the admonition for treating "the poorest among us"?

In this day and age, that gap is no less narrow, We are declared the Richest Nation on Earth yet poverty certainly lingers.

We have not only the unemployed but a huge number of underemployed. If you are curious to just how many, who not check the online data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics? That information paints a rather bleak picture.

Yet all of us are consumers on a daily basis. Do we use our purchase power to maximum advantage? Let us imagine:

  1. EMPLOYEE DISPARITY: What if every corporate website were asked to publish statistics on the ratio between its CEO's salary and benefits and those of its lowest paid employee? Results might be rather enlightening.
  2. OVERSEAS PRODUCTS: These days many everyday products flow in from Asia and Latin America which harbor what we can refer to as "cheap labor". The American company often pockets a huge 200 percent-plus profit. What would consumers do should every such item have labels revealing the wages paid to those who actually make that product? Might we have second thoughts?
  3. LEGAL BAIT-AND-SWITCH: Some of us are taken in by ads which broadcast inducements like "20% off", aren't we? What is clearly missing is a comparison with the wholesale price so we can view the Big Picture. If it is300% profit margin and then only 20% cut off at that, somebody is being fooled. I'd love to mandate both pieces of info. Anyone feel the exact same way?

While the Ten Commandments declare, "Thou Shalt Not Steal", today's marketplace is rampant with multiple violations. If every alleged "thief" of consumer cash were incarcerated, we'd shortly run out of prison space.

Bottom Line: Are we ourselves imprisoned every time we submit to such Income Inequity? Let's call it The Greenback Blues!


NOTE: Lee Coyne is not driven by an endless quest for coins but prefers to indulge in rational, rather consrervative spending. His more liberal bent is in seeking social justice. Feedback is invited at

B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William

Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.

Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at:



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