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Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:

I’ve been following the debate in the Dispatch’s letters to the editor regarding the state of the U.S. economy and thought I’d offer my two cents.

Let me start with a simple question: If you owned a business, which would cause you to hire more employees and offer higher pay to keep them? 1. A tax cut putting money in your pocket, or 2. An increase in shoppers with money to spend showing up to buy what you’re selling? I think the answer is obvious.

As “necessity is the mother of invention,” demand is the mother of economic growth. History provides proof that when working/middle class families have more money to spend, everyone — wealthy on down — benefits. Today’s American economy is becoming oppressively top-heavy and the income gap is hurting most workers.

A snapshot look at the 1950s and ‘60s provides ample evidence that we have been led astray by a system rigged to benefit only the wealthiest few. Back then, with a top-tier tax rate of 90%, we still generated a fair share of millionaires and billionaires. Middle class families saw booming wage gains and the U.S. infrastructure investment and growth was the envy of the entire world. Public education was high quality and affordable from K to university — the American dream of success for our children was being fulfilled.

Slowly, however, we’ve seen a steady and dramatic decrease in shared economic success. Organized labor, which gave workers a voice in the process, has been decimated. Our elections have become more about raising money from anonymous sources than honest debate on crucial issues.

If you think American working families are getting an even break in today’s economy, you’re not looking at the facts. We are a nation of over 300 million; if we don’t fight for a shared prosperity, then we will continue to pay the price of a rigged economy.

Ralph Atchue