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Wage slavery in corporate America

You don't have to be a Marxist to conclude that the working conditions of millions of American workers today are akin to wage-slavery ("Jobs are coming back, but they don't pay enough," Aug. 27).

According to columnist Robert Reich, the shareholders of the mega-corporation that operates Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut received a 15 percent return on their investment. Meanwhile, large numbers of the fast-food workers who deliver their products don't earn enough to rise above the poverty line.

I think these anonymous shareholders, who are in fact the owners of the corporations in which they invest, are just as complicit as their highly-paid executives in benefiting richly at the expense of workers who can barely make ends meet. That these same workers' productivity has steadily increased corporate profits for more a decade is nothing less than a moral obscenity.

Mr. Reich is being overly polite when he says providing a living wage to every worker would require only a modest "trimming" of executive compensation and shareholder returns.

The nation's workers should not be short-changed just because of corporate America's desire for unlimited profits.

Howard Bluth, Baltimore

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