Economy hurts seniors
A big cumulative problem is the plight of senior citizens. Their wealth has been depleted by low certificate of deposit rates and stock-market collapses.
Now they are living on less and less, and so they are cutting into their principal in order to sustain themselves. This means less inheritance to pass to future generations.
We are bleeding in many areas. Government does not have all the answers.
I have heard comments from a lot of people concerning the walkout of Wal-Mart employees on Black Friday. Some people said that if they want to make a real living they should get an education and find a better job.
I think these people are missing the bigger picture.
Why is it so unreasonable to expect an employer to pay a livable wage? Big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart can offer lower prices because of their business practices.
They hire as many part-time employees as possible at minimum wage and do not have to pay them benefits. Even the limited number of full-time employees who aren’t in any type of management position are paid barely above minimum wage with very minimal and slow wage increases.
Because of this, many cannot afford the health insurance offered.
I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart years ago because of its business practices. Not only its practices concerning its employees but how it has driven small businesses totally out of business.
These were good, family-owned businesses that were wonderful places to shop but could not compete with the low prices. Businesses that paid their employees a living wage and cared about them, something Wal-Mart will never do.
As an active and healthy woman in my 50s, I should have access to health insurance. I said “access” because I have been refused coverage by two large insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions, such as tinnitus, vitreous detachment and knee cartilage damage.
Millions of Americans under age 65 have pre-existing conditions. In 2014, because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies will no longer be able to refuse coverage or charge individuals higher premiums because of pre-existing conditions or disabilities.
Because of the law, thousands of young adults up to the age of 26 are already enjoying the benefits of coverage under their parents’ insurance policies.
How can this law be bad for us?
This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of protecting ourselves and our families.
The millions of us who have been denied health coverage cannot afford to waste valuable time. We need relief now.
Racism in America
Sadly, racism is alive and well in this nation under God today, mostly among white Americans. This not-so-great quality was fully revealed like an ugly stain on a light-colored linen during and after the election.
During the campaign, an older woman whom I barely know handed me, an Asian, a thick envelope and said: “Read them. You’ll change your mind about Obama. He’s evil. He tries to destroy our country. ... We need a white man to be the next president.”
I had the pleasure of dropping the envelope in the nearest trash bin, without opening it.
After President Barack Obama’s victory, a man on my Facebook page posted an anti-black, anti-Obama message, using such words as “Negro,” “a know-nothing dude,” “a Muslim,” and more.
Fellow Americans, skin is only one part of a human body. But some can only see the color of one’s skin. How sad.
We live in multicultural society, which translates to “multicolor” society. Those who’re proud of the color of their skin don’t know what Christianity is about.
They lack knowledge of American history and who lived and died to make it where we live today.
I read your recent commentary on seed money for the inner city (11-19, Commentary, “Seed-money surge could rebuild the inner city”).
Maybe the real issue isn’t racism but crime, a lack of return on investment and the fear of a build-it-and-someone-will-show-up approach to government investing.
It will be more money down the drain. At some point we also need to stop blaming everything on racism.
Bad ideas or disagreeing on solutions isn’t racism. Racism is becoming an excuse for everything.
Over half of what I make goes to taxes.
At some point it isn’t about spending and taxing more.
There isn’t any accountability for what is already being spent, and we are going to spend our way into poverty for all.
That affects all of us, not just some.
The California model doesn’t work in California, let alone Missouri.
Every year, Missouri pro-choice legislators back efforts to make contraceptives available to and affordable for all women. And every year, anti-choice legislators block that access.
These same anti-choice legislators who vote against low-cost contraceptives then have the audacity to complain about the number of people on food stamps and other welfare aids.
You can’t have it both ways. Consider this: If you are an anti-choice legislator who votes against making low-cost contraceptives available, you are responsible for abortions. Yes, the very thing you rally against.
The main barriers to birth control are cost, education and access. This is what Planned Parenthood tries to provide.
But anti-choice lawmakers want to take away funding.
For women living from paycheck to paycheck, the $15 to $50 a month for contraception is a very high cost, especially when you consider the amount of food that money could provide for a poor family.
Maintain funding for Planned Parenthood. Give women a hand up, not a hand out.
Trolley Track Trail at risk
In these times of economic cliffhangers, it remains a challenge to say no to new businesses that propose to bring revenue to urban areas. However, if we do not approach development with an eye for the future, the effect could be detrimental and lasting.
A Whole Foods Market has been proposed at 51st and Oak streets, near the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This project should not be allowed to bypass the Country Club Right of Way and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority in the cut-through on the Trolley Track Trail that is being sought.
If the cut to Brookside Boulevard is gained, I’d guess many businesses adjacent to the trail will seek the same.
At some point, we will need to slow down and look at businesses with sustainable use and development policies.
When Whole Foods’ lease ends, who will be the next tenant?
Does everyone on Oak Street want to contend with and look at a loading dock?
Does anyone really believe there will be enough parking for such a large store and 150 apartments?
How precious is the Trolley Track Trail to the vitality of Brookside?
Chiefs are clowns
The Chiefs are so bad that they are funny — ha-ha funny, not peculiar funny. They remind me of the Keystone Kops of the old movies.
They can’t get out of the way of each other. Their coach is a Jonathan Winters character if there ever was one.
What they need are more overweight, lazy, overpaid people who just want to collect big paychecks but have no interest in playing the game.
The fans should take a week off and go to a museum or go throw rocks in the Missouri River. Much more fun than watching a bunch of bad players playing bad football.
Richard W. Dahms
Country Club, Mo.
Better TV programming
Why would a television station waste viewing time on a Kansas City Chiefs game when it could be showing “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Swamp People” or some other more interesting programming?
Reward for good deed
On a recent Sunday evening, our old truck was stolen from our driveway.
Early on a Tuesday morning, a man named Marcus phoned us using information he found on insurance papers in the truck.
Establishing that we were the owners, he gave us the location of the truck. It was parked going the wrong way on a one-way street.
He waited at the truck until we arrived. He stayed until a tow truck was on the way and refused any type of compensation.
Thank you, Marcus. You deserve headlines. Your good deed will be rewarded.
Kansas City, Kan.