Robert Reich column, President Obama, immigration reform

09/06/2013 12:56 PM

09/06/2013 3:20 PM

Reich column

In mentioning Henry Ford giving his workers $5 a day, Robert Reich, in his Sept. 4 column, “Economy and democracy falter with low wages,” conveniently tells only half the story.

It’s true. Ford did raise his employees’ pay to $5 a day, and yes this did help his workers buy the fruits of their labor.

But what former secretary of labor Reich fails to mention is that for the first 10 months of 1913, Ford’s workforce turnover rate was 380 percent. For each employee Ford kept, he had to hire almost four to replace the ones who quit.

Ford learned that turnover had a high cost. Doubling pay gave him his pick of the best workers in Detroit and labor peace in those pre-United Auto Workers days.

However, Ford was not dealing in a global economy like we are today.

Ed O’Toole

Kansas City Hypocritical Obama

The use of chemical weapons is deplorable and particularly heinous when used on children in Syria. Such is the outcry from President Barack Obama, his administration and his followers.

The chemicals used to abort and kill children in America aren’t mentioned by this regime. The Obama administration’s support for Planned Parenthood only grows in strength.

I can’t wrap my head around it. Murder is murder in my opinion.

Sharon Stathopoulos

Raymore Hurting the poor

We Americans are fortunate that our economic system is capitalistic because this system encourages competition and opens pathways for individuals to financially improve their situations. But there is a catch.

Capitalism, by its competitive nature, rewards winners and does not reward losers. Furthermore, those who are born into impossible situations and those who become so ill that they cannot work or live normal lives often die earlier and as paupers.

Many who prosper in our capitalistic society love their bountiful lives but abhor paying taxes that ultimately provide services that in turn have been partly responsible for their bounty. However, part of their taxes also finance social programs that benefit the poor.

Some of those who have prospered resent supporting social programs for the poor, lumping all of the poor into the “lazy bin.” How unfortunate.

The Affordable Care Act corrects this inequity by making health care accessible to the poor through its expansion of Medicaid. Paradoxically, in Missouri, the expansion of Medicaid has been blocked by our Republican legislators, many of whom represent rural areas that will be devastated if Medicaid in not expanded.

Robert Stuber, M.D.

St. Joseph Immigration reform

As an immigration attorney, I am deeply concerned that the House of Representatives may bring HR 2278, the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act, to the floor for a vote.

The SAFE Act offers no practical, workable or humane solutions for immigration reform. Instead, it is an extremist, regressive and draconian piece of legislation that would criminalize undocumented immigrants and massively increase detention and enforcement costs.

The SAFE Act fails to protect civil and human rights. It will not ensure due process, and it will require the deportation of 11 million people who pose no safety risk and whose continued participation in our communities should be encouraged.

I urge Kansas Reps. Mike Pompeo, Kevin Yoder, Tim Huelskamp and Lynn Jenkins to reject the SAFE Act, to oppose bringing it up for a vote and to call upon leadership to support meaningful immigration reform.

The passage of any bill that would cause the arrest and criminal prosecution of U.S. citizen spouses, mothers and fathers, and tear apart the families of the 4.5 million U.S. citizen children in this country who have at least one undocumented parent, should motivate decent, sensible and fair-minded voters to the polls in 2014.

Sandrine Lisk

Wichita Dialogue on race

As we again resurrected the discussion of racial prejudice in our nation because of the 2012 Trayvon Martin slaying by George Zimmerman and Zimmerman’s second-degree murder acquittal in July, I asked myself whether I was afraid or uncomfortable when unexpectedly meeting a single black or group of blacks.

I was sad to realize that, yes, I did feel uncomfortable, but mostly because of the posture and dress style fashionable for many young black men. I have never had a problem with a single African-American or group of African-Americans.

Because I believe that 99 percent of the black or African-American citizens are just as concerned as others are about how many people respond to young black people, I believe the answer to improve this conundrum is a dialogue between young blacks and their parents and the community.

Edward “Gomer” Moody

Kansas City Voting safeguards

I was appalled at the removal of the teeth of the Voting Rights Act earlier this year, but now I hear that Missouri’s voting machines are nearly obsolete and will soon need to be replaced.

The paper-ballot system was never broken. Why did we fix it and continue with endless updates anyway?

I’ve never gotten a clear answer. Paper ballots provide a reliable record in case of a recount, and there is always a case for a recount.

Tampering with the right to vote is personal, and with all that was going on in Florida and in some other states, I am honestly scared it might spread to Missouri. I do not want this great country to repeat a dark chapter of our history, and I don’t want my own state to play any part in it if it does happen.

Expensive and unnecessary new machines would provide a fine opportunity for less-than-honest forces to shape outcomes to suit their political agenda.

The bipartisan Missouri Precinct Project ( is working hard to protect our votes. I urge my fellow Missourians to inform themselves about this issue.

Rebecca Glenn

Raytown Uphold gun veto

On Sept. 2, a front-page article, “Lawmakers aim at Nixon’s gun law veto,”

pertained to the unconstitutional law that was passed by the Missouri legislature and vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon. The state law in question was a sad attempt by the legislature to nullify federal laws having to do with guns.

The article mentioned that representatives of some districts admitted they knew the law was unconstitutional. However, they voted in favor of the bill and will probably vote to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of the bill.

The reason is that there was no reason to vote against the bill or against the override of the veto because such votes could hurt their chances of re-election.

Give me a break. Grow a backbone and realize that there are more constitutional rights than the Second Amendment.

Elected officials should always be aware of what is constitutional and let their decisions be guided by that knowledge. Any representative who cares more about re-election than the entire Constitution should not be in office.

As I said before, grow a backbone or go home.

Lillie French

Kansas City Angels’ protection

I’ve been running with my dogs for years (early mornings near Truman Medical Center-Lakewood), usually before the sun comes up. I’ve had drivers swerve at me.

Knuckleheads have thrown beer cans my way, and deer and skunks try to run me down. I wave at everyone, coming and going, so I have lots of early morning friends, although I can’t see their faces in the headlights.

On a recent Wednesday morning, one of my regulars, the man in a black Volkswagen convertible, passed me, stepped on the brakes, backed up and then said, “I’ve got something for you. It’s a reflective visor. Might help someone see you.”

That simple act made me feel good all day and again the next morning when I saw him waving at me — my bald head now haloed by a reflective brim.

God bless the angels in this world.

Don McGinness

Kansas City

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