The Sept. 20 front-page article "As Income Gap Widens, Uncertainty Spreads," fretted that the percentage of households earning $35,000 to $49,000 declined from 22 percent in 1967 to 15 percent last year. Yet the percentage earning less than $35,000 fell from 53 percent to 41 percent in the same period, while the percentage earning more than $50,000 rose from 25 percent to 44 percent. It is difficult to imagine how this could be considered a problem.
It used to be called progress.
The article on the "vanishing middle-class job" balanced citations from both the "optimistic" and the "pessimistic" economists, but it lacked balance in the human-interest stories that dominated the article.
The only stories included were about people who ended up worse off (mostly much worse off) after losing their jobs. Not one person was included who successfully upgraded his or her skills or otherwise managed to find a job that was equal to or better than the one lost.
Anecdotal information, while useful in illustrating a news story, is really not helpful in clarifying our economic situation or in making public policy. But if it's going to be used, it should at least be balanced to more accurately reflect the true situation.
JAY R. BAKER