Letter: Taking issue with Mazzuca column
I particularly take issue Butch Mazzuca’s assertion in his Feb. 3 column, “From the jungle to the swamp,” that President Trump is at the helm of a “surging economy.” The stock market is not the economy. It is no accident that two-income families are now the norm, just to make ends meet. We are in a manufacturing recession and estimates from the Federal Reserve suggest that Trump’s tariffs have raised business costs resulting in reduced manufacturing employment.
There is an affordable housing crisis that now even extends to rural areas, where income growth has lagged in the post-recession period. A recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts found “sizable” increases in the number of households spending half or more of their income on housing in rural counties across the country.
Health care is becoming out of reach. Family private-insurance premiums jumped 28 percent to $17,710, while median household incomes rose less than 20 percent. That meant less take-home pay for workers. Deductibles — what a family has to fork over before insurance kicks in — also soared.
Add to this burden is the costs of college and college loans. Now nearly 50 million adults are stuck working off their educational debt loads, including one in three adults in their 20s, erasing the college wealth premium for younger Americans and eroding the college earnings premium.
In other developed economies, health care, child care, early education, and higher education are public goods and do not require high-interest-rate debts or endless scrambling by exhausted young parents to procure.
The ones who shamelessly have profited from this “surging economy” are the rich, while the middle class is being squeezed out of existence. We should not be proud of this.
Mary Anne Gaetti
New York, New York
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