Other ways to close the income gap
The Monitor's View of April 8, "Closing the income gap," gives advice to workers – to shape up, educate themselves in the new technologies, and acquire better skills. This is good advice and should be useful.
However, the fact remains that the major problem with the income gap is that manufacturers, chief executive officers, and owners have gotten a bigger portion of the pie over the past 40 years. Three decades ago, CEO pay was about 40 times that of the average worker. Today it is more than 350 times the pay of the average American worker. Worker salaries have not kept pace with these increases to CEO pay or in some cases to the cost of living.
The solution has got to be more than simply urging workers to learn more. The structure and behavior of the manufacturers and CEOs need to be modified. Changes to tax laws, more union activity, and general worker enlightenment about this pay imbalance will all help.
Time to change US health system
In your April 8 article "Can Medicare costs be tamed?" the author notes that the United States spends twice as much for medical care as several other developed countries but fails to mention that those countries use government-managed, nonprofit, single-payer delivery systems. This is what the US needs.
These systems cost half as much as our disorganized, largely for-profit program, which achieves less than other developed nations in terms of health outcomes (e.g., infant mortality, life expectancy, etc.). It will be hard to refute the negative propaganda about "socialized medicine."
It will also be difficult to defeat the huge corporations (and their money-driven political clout) that resist a shift toward a more government-managed, single-payer system. And it will be difficult to overcome the political stalemate in our government.
Nevertheless, such a change toward a better health-care system must be made to avoid a catastrophic future for this country.