We citizens furnish Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder a good salary and lifetime benefits so he can conspire with mega-bank lobbyists to write deregulatory laws setting us up to bail out Wall Street again, bankrupt families and drive more citizens into poverty (12-30, A4, “Yoder’s bank bill deserved debate”).
Have I got that right?
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Enabling bad banks
Rep. Kevin Yoder, in his Jan. 5 “As I See It” column, “How to invest in America,” expresses good points about the need for banks to make money available to keep America growing.
However, he is naive in thinking the banking industry will do so safely and prudently without strict regulation and monitoring.
We have seen in the recent banking meltdown that greed and ego are more powerful than business aptitude.
Bankers previously thought that they could get away with risky business practices because they were more clever, luckier and entitled. The result was a near economic collapse.
Reducing scrutiny on these institutions implies that the perpetrators learned from their mistakes.
Unfortunately, like the addicted gamblers they are, Mr. Yoder and his GOP cronies naively think that this behavior has changed when there were no consequences such as prison time the last time and when the banks themselves were bailed out by the American taxpayers.
Mr. Yoder wrote a very impressive essay on how he thinks the American banking system should work. But he himself (working in the most dysfunctional system of all, Congress) should know he is only enabling bad behavior to happen again.
Missing KCI cheer
We were disappointed upon arriving back to Kansas City last month to find no holiday decorations inside or outside Kansas City International Airport. (Southwest Airlines did have a Christmas tree.)
During our time away, we were in airports in Chicago, Hong Kong and Singapore. Each one was attractively decorated with all kinds of bright lights and colors, which made the airports look very festive.
Is management at KCI deliberately making our airport look drab?
I left a voice mail for the airport staff, but my call was not returned.
Platte County pride
I have been following the events happening in Ferguson, Mo. It makes me glad that I live in Platte County.
Late last year, I completed an eight-week program conducted by the Platte County Sheriff’s Department called the Platte County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy.
Each class was well-conducted, and each officer who spoke was very professional. It was obvious that the officers and the sheriff had respect not only for their jobs but for each other as well.
Because of their knowledge of what their jobs entailed, they were willing to answer questions that we, the students, asked. The objective of this class is to make the residents of Platte County aware of what is happening in the Sheriff’s Department. I am so proud I was given the opportunity to attend this class.
The Sheriff’s Department will be offering more classes. I would like to see each person in Platte County sign up for the class. They keep enrollments low so a more personal atmosphere in the class is maintained.
Please keep looking and listening for information on these classes.
When did a Republican administration — state or federal — in recent memory ever help poor people acquire the skills or tools they need to become self-sufficient?
Under recent Republican administrations, we’ve seen college tuition go up, making it impossible for the poor and even the middle class to get college educations.
Tax cuts have mostly benefited the wealthy. They were supposed to result in more jobs but have left us with a stagnant job market and an even greater gap between the haves and have-nots.
We have an environment in which the jobs that are available by and large don’t pay a living wage and certainly don’t provide benefits or help with retirement.
There also is no plan for change, which would give our poor and middle class real hope for the future.
Show me a Republican who would help a person learn to fish by giving him a fishing pole, and I’ll show you a Democrat.
Cost of college
All higher-education institutions across Missouri remain focused on helping to keep students’ and families’ out-of-pocket costs as low as possible.
Private colleges remain affordable to students from all backgrounds because of generous institutional student-aid policies.
In fact, the average inflation-adjusted net tuition and fees (published tuition and fees minus grant aid from all sources and federal higher education tax benefits) at private colleges dropped 8 percent from 2008-2009 to 2013-2014, according to College Board’s October report on Trends in College Pricing.
It also shows the average debt per borrower among all bachelor degree recipients at private colleges in 2011-2012 was $29,900 — similar to public students.
In addition, 70 percent of students who received bachelor’s degrees from four-year private colleges were able to complete it in four years, compared with 60 percent of graduates at public institutions, according to U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education statistics.
Because students at private colleges graduate faster than their peers at public universities, they are more likely to avoid extra years of tuition and begin their careers earlier.
That’s good for them and for their families.
Universities of Missouri
Unmarked police cars
Some people have suggested that all police vehicles be marked. Certainly, most are clearly marked to indicate their status as police cars and the jurisdictions they represent.
Unmarked police vehicles are an absolute necessity in criminal investigative work and for administrators who will often drive outside of their jurisdictions to further the mission of their departments.
Unmarked vehicles are also a very effective tool in traffic enforcement because of the obvious advantage in detecting aberrant acts by motorists who behave only when they fear arrest by marked units.
I know, having driven an unmarked cruiser for more than 10 years while a highway patrolman in Missouri.
In short, they are a strong deterrent to unlawful activity.
Why would any law-abiding, sober and courteous individual care about the presence of an unmarked police car?
I am unfortunately and at the same time all too fortunate to understand and feel the presence of those around me, whether it is the waiter at a restaurant, the cashier at Target or the lady with the screaming kids at the grocery store.
At the same time, I notice the absence of empathy and patience on the part of so many in dealing with the aforementioned. This is no severe statement on socioeconomic background, although often times it seems as though those with greater prosperity are the same as those with the lack of patience or a kind word.
I won’t ever understand how you can have a grocery cart filled with presents and wants and at the same time be so focused on the five minutes it took to check a price on some unimportant item. Or how not having a full drink or your check immediately after your meal is finished (only to talk another 20 minutes) is so much more important than the human being who is responsible for those things.
We have this life the same as all those around us, and it’s not more important than any of theirs.
Be kind, be grateful.