The misuse of income statistics in the Oct. 1 editorial, “Squealing about the income gap,” may be the only thing that makes the issue explosive.

While there are many reasons to question the efficiency of government at both the state and federal level, the inappropriate use of income data does not set the proper groundwork for the discussion.

I am not familiar with employment practices in Maine, so I will limit my comments to the disparity between the average federal wage and the average private wage that was called unsustainable.

The federal government contracts out many non-core functions to help keep employment levels and costs down. These functions include janitorial services, cafeteria workers, grounds maintenance and security at many locations. Many maintenance and upkeep activities are also contracted out. By excluding many lower wage functions the federal average wage will naturally be higher than the private average wage, which includes all these functions.

I am reasonably sure that the editor’s failure to provide an apples-to-apples comparison of wages will likely have an inappropriate effect on readers.

Russ Richards, Rangeley

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