How far?

Last Saturday’s Pilot had county Commissioner Tom Huxley calling the demands of the service employees union “exorbitant.” How far we have come from the good old days when income was rising steadily for all Americans.

Now, after the tax cutting of Ronald Reagan and the Republicans, “the median male worker earns less now than he did in 1979” (Paul Krugman, Nobel laureate) and C.E.O.s at the largest companies now make 270 times as much as the average worker, up from 27 times as much in 1980.

Vox news: “From 1963 to 1980, average national growth was close to the growth experienced by most Americans. As the economy grew their income grew by about the same amount. Since the 1980s, economic growth has overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy more than the poor. A recent Urban Institute survey found that last year 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs.”

Today, as every day this year, Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon, will make another cool $50 million. How grateful he must be to the Republicans for cutting his taxes. Three Americans, Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, own as much as the entire lower half of all Americans. But there are 500 American billionaires. What share of the pie do they own?

On Tuesday, Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Martin Heinrich are introducing a new bill that would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which releases quarterly GDP numbers, to also report how growth is distributed. The bill would require the BEA to produce a new metric, the “income growth indicator,” or IGI, to be reported quarterly and annually with GDP numbers starting in 2020. But, it will go nowhere. Republicans have already shown that they don’t want that kind of information out.

Tracy Rupp

Brookings

Hoping for progress

I called the county roadmaster on Aug. 22 about all these campers and squatters on our county roads. He said they were working on an ordinance against this. I helped by getting 48 signatures in favor.

On Aug. 27, I called (Roadmaster Richard) Christensen to see about the next step. He said he would not pursue this ordinance now or ever.

So, now I will apologize to all the people who signed the petition under the persuasion I used to get them to sign for this ordinance. I am sorry I misled all of you. Please be patient about all of this. There is a commissioners meeting Sept. 5 in Gold Beach. Hopefully, we can make progress.

John Yost

Brookings

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