Editor, Daily Nexus,
This week, Courtney Stevens (“Poor Aren’t Poorer,” Daily Nexus, April 24) boldly creates “facts” in an effort to spread her warped views of America. The truth is the bottom 40 percent of families earn only 12 percent of the nation’s income and pay about 6 percent of federal income taxes. Most live just above the poverty line – though many live below it – but still below “living wage.” Every dollar means more when you only earn $6.61 per hour – the average wage of adults who leave the welfare system.
Stevens asserts the simple fact that there is an inequality in the work performed by the rich and the poor explains wage inequality. This assertion seems to place the blame on the poor for their own circumstances and fails to acknowledge the inequality of opportunities. It is all but impossible to get into college and get a job that Stevens seems to think it is appropriate without access to education, food, shelter, medical care and other essentials that many growing up in poverty lack. There still exists a wide gap between the poor and the rich. When people cannot afford to feed themselves and their children, how can we expect them to fund a war?
The claim that the benefits offered by the government shrink this gap to its apparent negligibility is ludicrous. On average, a single mother of two would get just over $7,000 per year to support herself and her children. That is roughly $600 a month, which includes welfare payments as well as food stamps. I, for one, am not in a rush to trade my higher tax rates and substantially higher income for a miserly $600 a month. That is significantly less than a minimum wage job, and leaves welfare recipients still well below the “living wage” – and University of California tuition level.