For all of President Bush's talk about a so-called ownership society, it's ironic that he's not focused on the things that would genuinely boost ownership among ordinary Americans: good jobs, fair wages and a reduction in wealth disparity.

If President Bush were truly interested in promoting ownership in America, he would stop pursuing economic policies that reward the few while the many lose ground. For starters, he would:

• Start fixing a broken health care system that's straining families and small businesses.

• Drop his opposition to a living wage.

• Abandon his plans to extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent, those who make $1 million or more. (They already received $148 billion in cuts last year.)

• Craft trade and tax policies that clamp down on the flight of jobs abroad.

• Ditch his risky Social Security privatization scheme that would require benefit cuts and jeopardize millions of men and women who live a few steps away from relentless poverty.

Gay Beaudet

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