Mailbag: Many Americans lag in current economy

Mailbag: Many Americans lag in current economy

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Data reported by the National Bureau of Economic Research from 2013 indicates less than 46% of American households own stock, either directly or through some sort of fund.

At the same time, the top 10% of households own 84% of the stock market, as confirmed in a report in Money this month. Less than a third of all households own at least $10,000, and the top 10% own more than twice the bottom 90 percent combined.

“We have the greatest companies anywhere in the world,” Mr. Trump said during a speech at the White House. “They’re all coming back now. They’re coming back to the United States.”

The promise was the repatriation of jobs in manufacturing, not just money. Thus far there is no evidence that that has happened. In fact, several recent reports indicate tariffs are pushing those jobs to other overseas locations.

According to a recent Gallup poll of 6,600 workers, 44% were in mediocre jobs, 16% were in poor jobs and just 40% held good jobs. For the 60%, the jobs were part-time, paying minimum wage. Thus, an increase of 3.4% in income will not appreciably improve the lives of these workers.

Increasing one’s hourly rate from $12 an hour to $12.40 an hour for 20 hours a week is still below a living wage. The result is more people with multiple jobs. The Labor Department also released data recently showing that 514,000 fewer jobs were added between April 2018 and March 2019 than originally thought.

Robert B. Harris

Albany

Editor's note: This letter is being reprinted because the signature was inadvertently omitted from the original version.

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