Olivia May lamented Jan. 2 the concentration of wealth at the top by so-called wage-exploiting industries such as Wal-Mart (“Letter to the editor: Wages reflect power in workplace and in society”).

The contention is that low wages allow a concentration of wealth to a select few. So I looked at the annual report and proxy statements for Wal-Mart. I find six executives earning $77 million per year based on the purported exploitation of 2.2 million employees. That works out to $35 per employee, per year, or 1.7 cents per hour.

The minimum-wage whining is another distraction from what we really need. That is jobs, at all levels, especially in Maine. Fight that battle, Ms. May, and the need for a higher minimum disappears.

And regarding the student debt crisis, that is also a distraction. My generation 40 years ago also had large debt, but we did not cry about it. We went to work and paid it back. And the job market was awful. I decline to pay any part of your debt; you made your choices, live with them.

Brian C. Jones

Scarborough