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Execs take too much of the pie

The article ''New Figures Show Wider Gap Between Rich and Poor,'' April 21, failed to mention the astronomical increases in executive compensation as an important reason why the top 5 percent of American families increased their share of the total income.

As a holder of numerous American stocks and one Canadian stock, I am amazed at American chief executive officers earning multimillion-dollar compensation packages. The rest of the ''executive team'' is earning comparably larger compensation packages every year.

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Many of these American companies are the same ones that are ''downsizing'' the middle-and lower-level management force. Then these terminated employees frequently take jobs at lower salaries and often without any benefits. No wonder the top 5 percent is taking home more of the pie each year.

A few years ago there was a growing cry for terminating the rapidly escalating compensation for American executives. This seems to have lost momentum, when it is needed now more than ever.

Lloyd A. Bickford, Strongsville, Ohio

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