Letter: LA Times article on wealth study questionable

February 3, 2014 

In real journalism, "news" refers to "new unbiased facts." Jan. 21's gimme-mentality op-ed rant from Oxfam and the World Economic Forum via an LA Times article, "Income gap growing big: World's 85 richest have as much wealth as half the population," however, presented uncontested ideological pap right on the front page, above the fold, as though it were actually news. Some quotes:

w "The only way to get ahead is to fight for crumbs from the top table," Oxfam executive director Winnie Byanyima is quoted as saying. Tell that to Zuckerman, Oprah, Gates, Buffett, your doctor, your plumber, etc.

w Oxfam wants the wealthy to "take a pledge not to dodge taxes," the LA Times reported. Anyone besides Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner caught dodging taxes already gets prosecuted.

w Oxfam also said to, "Raise the minimum wage ... pay a living wage." That leaves business-savvy people, the Herald staff, and anyone who has read the Constitution banging their heads against the wall.

w "Support progressive taxation," was another Oxfam suggestion. The well-off already pay virtually all federal income tax revenues.

w "Since 2009, the top 1 percent received 95percent of new U.S. wealth as the bottom 90 percent got poorer," the study found. And who was president then, artificially inflating the stock market with our taxes?

Woe is us, we are all victims, and the nanny state rules. Gimme!

Gimme a break. How'd that work out for Cuba, North Korea, and the USSR, even Greece?

MICHAEL FICK, Kennewick

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