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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 1, 2014 at 6:04 AM

The problems with concentrated wealth

Columnist David Brooks has a peculiar perspective on the meaning of democracy and a rather selective view of the course of history [“The spiritual recession,” Opinion, June 28].

Brooks is correct in warning against “concentrated power.” But there is no mention in his essay of the urgent crisis in the U.S. today whereby untold gobs of money from characters like the Koch brothers are distorting our entire political and electoral process. Brooks elides the devastating impact the widening chasm between the opulent rich and the growing ranks of the poor is certain to have on our democratic institutions. I would remind Brooks of a cogent statement uttered by the erudite Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: “We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Surely, we have much to address within our own borders before we can presume to be a beacon of democracy elsewhere.

Joe Martin, Seattle

Comments | More in Income inequality | Topics: American history, David Brooks, Joe Martin

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