Letter: Elderly suffer from reform cuts

Published:

 

The Oct. 21 editorial suggested "redefining retirement." Such phrases usually mean program cuts. Elderly Americans will suffer if Social Security and Medicare are cut, because they have no resources to replace the lost income.

According to Professor Dan Ariely of Duke University, the bottom 40 percent of Americans possess less than 0.3 percent of nation's wealth. Research by the Federal Reserve shows that the total wealth of American households is $70.3 trillion. There are about 311 million Americans. Therefore, the poorest possess an average of $1,695 each. Since this is an average, many will have less or even negative resources.

There has been a recent trend of wealth being redistributed from the poor and middle class to the wealthiest, with the result that 90 percent (279.9 million) of the population now own 23.3 percent of the wealth, or $58,520 average each. The next 9 percent (27. 9 million) own 41.33 percent of the wealth, or $692,387 average each, and the top 1 percent of Americans (3.11 million) own 35.4 percent of the wealth, or $8,001,994 average each.

Is it right to cut Social Security and Medicare, which many need for mere survival?

Rodger L. Stevens

Vancouver