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Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The Aug. 25 letter from Glenn Watson (“The poor just don’t want to work,” Pick of the day) disputes John Stuart Mill’s statement that “most stupid people are conservative.”
Watson feels that “the stupid people of this country . . . refuse to work for their livelihood or contribute to our republic,” and that “50 percent of [American] people pay no federal income taxes.” I obtained the following recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and Wikipedia:
* 23.5 percent of Americans are under the age of 18.
* 12.8 percent of Americans are 65 or older.
Together, they equal 36.3 percent.
Added to the 12.6 percent of Americans who are severely disabled, the total sum equals 48.9 percent.
Some of these statistics overlap one another. However, most of these people are not employed because they are too old, too young or are unable to work.
Also, 4.7 percent of all hourly paid workers earn the minimum wage or less. Sometimes they require government assistance, such as food stamps, to feed themselves.
I suggest that all employees be paid a full-time living wage, with benefits, so that no able-bodied person needs to ask the government for assistance of any kind.
Employers who prefer not to pay a living wage might consider performing those tasks themselves.
Meanwhile, Watson might learn to think for himself and hone his math skills.
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