Larry Kaufmann's opinion piece "The Occupy Movement Has It All Wrong" (12/16/11) relies entirely on data from the Pew Research Center that 81% of households in 2006 had higher inflation-adjusted family income than their parents had in 1968, "with intergenerational income growing by an average of 84%." What Kaufmann crucially ignores is the fact that the Pew data fails to control for number of wage earners per household when comparing average family income over time. Pew's conclusion is completely fallacious because 40 years ago the vast majority of households had only one wage earner. It strains credulity to believe that Pew's propagation of such misinformation is an innocent mistake. I suspect it is carefully contrived propaganda to: camouflage escalating inequality in the U.S.; and deflect long-overdue collective, democratic resistance to concentrated wealth and power, by co-opting aspirations into an individualistic search for vanishingly slim chances at upward mobility.
Mr. Kaufmann concludes that the Pew report proves that earnings potential is expanding over time and that those opportunities are open to most everyone. However, the real source of increased "family" income and reported "family" income mobility stems not from "increased earnings opportunity" but rather from the fact that there are many more two-income families today than there were generations ago.
As Elizabeth Warren pointed out in her 2006 article in Harvard Magazine, while family incomes had risen, 2006 income for males was $800 lower (in constant dollars) than it was for their counterparts a generation earlier. Warren's conclusion: "the only real increase in wages for a [middle class] family has come from the second paycheck earned by a working mother."
Thank you for the screamingly funny "Off the Square" cartoons about Republicans' introduction of legislation to amend the state constitution to extend "personhood" to the moment that an egg is fertilized. The cartoon (12/16/11) in which Capitol Police tell a woman that her pregnancy better not be twins because she, they, and her husband would be counted as a "mob" sent me to look at the previous week's cartoon again, where I marveled again at its spot-on messages. I love the suggestions that a fertilized egg could apply for a bank loan, get a concealed carry permit and play basketball.
Ruth E. Wagner
Even if Marcelle Richards is a wonderful cook, she made the right choice in remaining a writer ("Behind the Scenes at L'Etoile," 12/9/11). I could feel the tension and energy of the kitchen in the opening, and enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant too. What a great story about putting yourself out there and finding your calling. Thank you for a fun read.
Carrie Brooker, Middleton