The readers’ forum

Pope Francis on the right track

 

In her Jan. 5 column, Helen Aguirre Ferré says that Pope Francis has it wrong in wanting workers around the world to be paid a fair wage. She cites a redistribution of wealth as some evil that the pope, erroneously, supports.

But Ferré has it wrong. In the past 50 years, the United States has been on a relentless and vicious income distribution cycle — from the middle class to the wealthy. In 1965 the ratio of CEO salary to the workers in that industry was about 24 times. In 2005, that ratio had exploded to CEOs making about 262 times what workers made.

The Economic Policy Institute reports that between 1978 and 2011, average worker compensation increased 5.7 percent. During that same period the S&P 500 increased 349.1 percent and CEO annual compensation increased 726.7 percent. Is there something wrong with this picture? Is this rapidly increasing inequality, profoundly favoring the very wealthy, consistent with the principles enshrined by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” examples of the various “unalienable rights” which the Declaration says all human beings have been given by their Creator and for the protection of which they institute governments?

The United States has been on a straight course to return to medieval times and a feudal society where the lords, the 1 percent, own most everything, the vassals — and politicians — do whatever the lords tell them to do and the serfs (the rest of us) do all the work and receive almost nothing in return.

This pope is on the right track and he should be applauded for his courage and leadership.

Paul C. Hunt, South Miami

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