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Letters to the editor, December 30

Short-sighted approach

The United States is becoming a plutocracy, that is, a country run by its wealthiest citizens (the plutocrats).

This is clear from the influence that plutocrats and large corporations have on our government.

They are constantly pushing for short-term benefits, such as large tax cuts for themselves (see the House’s original budget). In order to enable these cuts, they push for cuts in benefits that other people get, such as education, minimum wages, food stamps, subsidized housing and medical care.

This approach is short-sighted.

Recent studies have shown that upward mobility in the U.S. has decreased sharply over several decades and is very low compared to other developed countries.

Cutting benefits greatly reduces the opportunity for poor and middle-class people to get educated and start businesses. A key barrier has been the huge increase in the cost of college tuition over the last 30 years.

The long-term consequence of the plutocrats’ approach is to reduce growth because there will be such a drastic cut in the number of productive citizens.

History shows that the plutocrats will be worse off in the long run. Let’s hope that they start behaving in their long-term self-interest.

Bob Michaelsen,