Economics

Dear editor:

Re: the present miserable plight of middle and lower classes of U.S. Americans.

When Mr. Robert Reich, who appears about once a week in the Times Observer, worked for President Clinton, I paid very little attention to him. That has really changed in the last several months.

If there is anyone who can write about and point out how poorly middle and lower class Americans are doing it is he.

I just resurrected some information that backs up Mr. Reich’s editorials. It is the start of 13 years, and end of the 13 years, income record of a female employee. It is non-union skilled wages at a Warren employer. I point this our because of the comparison of wages paid to male and female workers doing the same job. This company did more for their employees, by the way, than most give them credit for. I can vouch for this.

Starting with a September 1966 pay stub, the bi-weekly rate was $119 for 7.5 hours. This equated to $1.597 per hour worked. This amount is prior to the normal deductions such as taxes, etc.

The final check stub is dated 12/24/83. The bi-weekly rate is now $547.50 for the same number of hours, resulting in $7.35 per hour in pay.

No matter how you figure it out, it is a raise of 4.61 times in a little over 13 years. To summarize for instance: $7.35 / $1.587 = 4.61 approximately.

In 1983, some 31 years ago, a female employee working for a Warren employer, made slightly more than the minimum hourly rate of $7.25 / hour paid today.

Thank the Good Lord I am a member of “The Greatest Generation.” Although you must remember we lived during, or rather survived, “The Great Depression.”

Ray Smith

Youngsville