Fixing the economy
When former president Bill Clinton stated during the Democratic National convention, “No one president could fix the economic problems of the past four years,” one solid truth emerged.
For decades, our country has moved from value-added industries into service-based enterprises. Value-added creates wealth, while service is nothing more than a poker game. Wealth is gambled, gained or lost.
Everyone blames corporate greed for moving business and factories offshore.
The bottom line of any business, large or small, is to create income. We forget that our country has committed to international free-trade agreements.
We ignore our own consumer demand for the lowest-priced goods. As the standard of living increases in other countries, some enterprises are returning. A few are no longer finding a reasonable profit with overseas operations.
For our sake, we must accept that “Made in America” means we have to demand and buy more American-made products.
We have to realize that “Made in America” requires a decent wage and benefits to the people employed in value-added enterprises.
No, not any president can fix this. We as consumers must accept the challenge to help turn our economy around.
Ronald D. Burri
Eating the last Twinkies
Many in the media have been swift to blame unions for the demise of the Twinkie. It appears far easier to lay responsibility on the doorstep of workers than to peer inside the corner office.
Could hedge funds, loans, bankruptcies and inflated chief executives’ pay possibly have played a major role in the downfall of the Twinkie?
According to Salon, Hostess first entered bankruptcy in 2004. Union members took benefit and pay cuts to keep their company alive. As reported by Salon, a 14-year Hostess bakery employee who earned $48,000 in 2005 earned $34,000 in 2011.
Employee austerity measures were evidently not enough for management.
But instead of looking at mismanagement and failure to create new, more sustainable products, Hostess appears to lay its current economic collapse on workers — union members specifically. These are working men and women who earn a living to feed, house, clothe and educate their families.
Instead of pointing fingers at the working class, perhaps the media would find the real economic answers by looking closely inside those corner offices. We just might discover who’s really eating up those last Twinkies.
Ignorance and the failure of the Kansas Board of Education to recognize the value of handwritten communication rivals the board’s recent stand on evolution (11-17, A7, “Does writing have a place in schools?”). Cursive writing ability is a vital basis for teaching in the arts, mechanical and industrial design and the relationship of sounds and letters.
William. H. Finnegan
Governor hurts Kansas
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback believes in cutting education and giving private businesses the ability to make decisions concerning the disabled, aged and poor. I wonder whether he ever considered the idea that private business is more interested in making a profit than helping those who need it the most.
Brownback decided we need only two tax brackets. In other words, the poor pay more in taxes and the wealthy pay less. He is planning on cutting corporate taxes and eliminating the tax break to homeowners.
I’m really not quite sure who Sam Brownback is concerned about in Kansas, but it can’t be parents who want their children to have decent educations, the poor or people with special needs. It must at least include individuals who consider carrying a loaded gun a good idea.
By the way, has anyone in Kansas thought about where he and his conservative Republican friends get their campaign funding?
A Nov. 19 letter made the point that the president had to cave in to Republican demands to extend the George W. Bush tax cuts and that “added to the deficit.” In the years of those extended tax cuts, according to none other than the Congressional Budget Office, total federal revenues increased 26 percent.
Total tax revenues are now approaching the record level achieved before the recent recession. Unfortunately, Congress continues to spend about $1.44 for every dollar we give it.
F. Stephen Henslee
While millions of children are starving in Third World countries, our own chubby youngsters are complaining about having to eat healthy meals at school.
Imagine going to a restaurant twice a day for five days a week, having someone else pay for your meals and then complaining that it’s not enough.
This is not an Oliver Twist scenario (“May I have more, sir?”). Unlike our children, Oliver was a thin and starving orphan.
Many students on free or reduced-price lunches are overweight. Can we safely surmise that eating too much is the prime cause?
If parents still think their children are underfed at school, I suggest they feed them breakfast at home and pack lunches for them the way our parents did before the days of the free meal at the taxpayers’ expense.
Overweight children are ticking medical time bombs in a country whose medical system can ill-afford the future burden of early onset diabetes, high blood pressure and heart-related diseases.
Even the security of our country is at risk because an alarming number of future recruits will be too fat to serve their country.
Thomas E. Dodson
Pass DREAM Act
The DREAM Act has been an issue of great controversy, with valid arguments on both sides. However, here is an argument for passing the DREAM Act, which would legalize the status of millions of illegal immigrants.
Having read both current bills, it is easy to see that this act will not be a handout but an opportunity for a select group of men and women to prove their value, pursue higher education and become contributing legal citizens of the United States. By creating this opportunity, the nation stands to benefit economically from an increasingly educated work force as well as the job creation that may follow.
Also, this act will help lead the U.S. on a path toward badly needed immigration reform. Furthermore, we have an ethical obligation to pass this act.
The DREAM Act recognizes illegal immigrants’ value as humans and helps them to fulfill their ethical duties.
This act produces freedom for DREAMers and does not endorse deporting valuable people who know only the U.S. as home. DREAMers receive greatest gains.
Mayor’s Christmas Tree
I am the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, and I would like to address the Nov. 18 letter writer who suggested I be replaced by some other structure in hopes of saving a tree.
I love being a Christmas tree. It’s my family tradition. My family always plants new trees to replace me, so don’t worry about running out of trees.
Every year my family brings joy to all who understand the meaning of Christmas. I would like to recommend that the letter writer read Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” in hopes he will understand what Scrooge really means.
Edward “Gomer” Moody
The Mayor’s Christmas Tree is a tree marked for extinction. Six million replacement trees are planted.
I suggest the author of the Nov. 18 letter wanting a fake tree for this occasion should live in a plastic house.
I believe that your family and friends have an enormous influence on your life and a huge effect on your decisions.
There are many people in the U.S. and the world who start smoking before the age of 18. One of the reasons these people believe it is acceptable to smoke earlier than the age of 18 is that they see family members or friends smoking.
Peer pressure exists in all schools, whether it’s obvious or not.
Peer pressure from your friends can really influence you to do things that you wouldn’t do under normal circumstances.
You are the five people you spend the most time with. These five people could be your friends, your family or others you may encounter on a daily basis.
People are encouraged to be unique and different, and people are unique and differ from each other in most, if not all, aspects. But they are still going to be influenced by their family or friends or people they see every day.
Your family and friends are as important an influence to you as sunlight is to the growth of a flower.