Letter: Workers need work

May 23, 2014 

Everyone seems to have a story about some factory that produces twice as much stuff while using half as many workers as it did 30 years ago. That sounds great, but one negative effect is that America now faces a conundrum over what to do with all those extra workers. Here in the Tri-Cities, we not only don't have that problem, since Hanford cleanup is a one-of-a-kind, labor-intensive, government-funded enterprise with abundant nepotism and cronyism, we also have hundreds of comfortable retirees who believe that anyone who can't find a good job just isn't trying hard enough.

This is not a short-term problem, and the slow, painful recovery from the Bush recession is a current symptom of something that must be faced nationally over the next several generations. Resolution of income inequity (no one really means "inequality") is part of the solution, including people either with or without jobs.

Most people don't believe that genocide by starvation or illness, i.e., the Rand Paul approach, is appropriate, so it's apparent that something including that dirty word, "redistribution," is likely to be part of any real solution. You can scream "socialism" if that makes you feel better, but some rational proposals would certainly be welcomed.

MARTIN BENSKY, Richland

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