Susan Feiner’s “Camel” (Commentary, “And the rich get richer,” July 1) may have its nose under the tent, but its head appears buried in the sand.

Economic theory helps analyze dull but objective issues: what drives business growth at local, national and global levels; the interactions of productivity, unemployment and inflation; and the role of such factors as government spending and interest rates. Feiner’s introduction of a subjective “fairness” criterion moves us out of the frying pan of economics and into the fire of politics.

This is not to deny the validity of her statistics. That millions of new jobs are needed to get the United States back to the employment levels it once enjoyed is unquestioned. However, citing tax rates in the 1950s and ’60s, while nostalgic, is questionably relevant.

This is 2012, not 1950. Then, and for much of the rest of the 20th century, the U.S., together with Western Europe and Japan, maintained huge advantages by leveraging technological prowess into economic might and the labor forces and tax bases it supported.

“Camel,” however, seems oblivious to the structural economic changes of globalization, with former developing countries becoming richer by moving up the value-added production chain.

Producing high-value-added goods that as recently as the 1980s were provided by Japan and the industrialized West, countries like China, India and Brazil — and, more recently, Malaysia and Vietnam — now compete for market share in electronics, pharmaceuticals and information technology, taking with them the relatively higher-paid manufacturing jobs.

Most of these jobs will never return to the West. “Camel” provides no evidence that applying those 1950s tax rates to today’s vastly changed economy would produce the implied spurt in business activity.

Feiner’s “Dude” may be off the mark on several points, but putting “shoulder to the boulder,” together with working smarter, embraces far more practical economic sense than the illusory “fairness” of “Camel.”

Michael J. Cowell is a resident of Yarmouth.