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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 2, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Real Americans and the presidency

Betty Udeson/Seattle Times

Guides lead high school students around University of Washington campus.

Bailout college students

Editor, The Times:

It saddens me as a student to hear that tuition is on the rise [“College costs may spike with economy’s slide,” page one, Oct. 30].

I have plenty of loans to my name, and plenty more that are going to accumulate over the coming years. My family helps me when they can, but my sister just started college as well and now there are two of us incurring debt. There is only so much money to go around and mine seems to be running low.

As costs rise, my dreams of graduate school slowly fade. The bigger problem, however, is with those who don’t receive support from their families and those people who are just out of high school, and wondering what they are going to do with their lives.

What seems more feasible to them? Graduate high school and get a job, or attend college and go bankrupt?

We need people to receive an education, go into the workforce, and help us improve business and our economy. Don’t get me wrong; some of the smartest people I know never went to college, including my parents.

But these days it seems nearly impossible to get a high-paying job without a degree. The question I ask is: how are we supposed to get a degree if we cannot afford it?

Both presidential candidates seem to have opinions on the right course of action, but if we can “bailout” businesses that made bad choices, why can’t we “bailout” students who genuinely desire an education and have hopes of seeing change in the world. After all, education should be a basic right and we need it to survive.

How can we compete on a global level if we cannot even afford education on a domestic level? I’d like the candidates to answer that question.

–Angelique Sofie, Kirkland

Everyone responsible for higher working standards

Letter writer G. Thomas Cunningham rants and rants about tree-hugging, union-working and godless liberals being the reason for all the safety and working standards that are in place here in America, but he’s wrong [“A day in the life of Joe the Plumber,” Northwest Voices, Oct. 29].

It was and is every American, not just liberals. He needs to wake up and get his news and information from all sides of the spectrum.

— Barbara Atwood, Covington

Good to know credentials are irrelevant

This was really an illuminating letter. editorial. The point of view expressed is one that can only be held by someone raised in a land of plentiful opportunity and relative prosperity.

The perception that all the benefits enjoyed by Joe the Plummer is are the result of government programs fought for by liberals, rather than the result of industrious corporations and individuals who produce and innovate to fill the government coffers, is profoundly backwards.

Maybe we have the resources to pay for all of these programs due to some divine providence that recognizes the merits of these programs and funds them accordingly. Or maybe all it takes to manifest extravagant social benefits is a liberal’s will to do so.

I am glad that the massive wealth unleashed by competitive free market forces are not needed to pay for any these benefits.

It’s comforting to know that the liberals are fighting heroically to secure for us some of the essential benefits mentioned such as meatpacking standards and shampoo-quality regulation. These achievements should not be diminished.

Also, I’m grateful that the liberals are here to force my employer to provide medical and retirement benefits, paid holidays and vacation.

If we had to rely on our employers to provide these things as an incentive to attract talented and motivated people, surely we would all be working 80-hour weeks.

I will rest better knowing that my degree and the various professional certifications that I hold are superfluous to my continued comfort and prosperity. Really, I don’t know why I bothered with them in the first place.

Finally, The author’s reference to the Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgages that Joe enjoys deserves special attention. We should not hold back heaping thanks for the liberals when it comes to helping us secure affordable mortgages.

— Steve Francis, Sammamish

Two plus two equals five

Regarding Gary McGavran’s assertion about Sen. Obama doing nothing discernible his entire adult life but campaigning for president, and other similar assertions heard and read everywhere in this eternal campaign season:

The ability of followers of extreme-right ideology to take any set of facts and twist them into something unrecognizable is truly amazing and yes, frightening [“We live in a material world,” Northwest Voices, Oct. 29].

I’ve come to believe that in some willfully ignorant circles a person asserting that two 2 plus two 2 equals four 4 will be accused of perpetrating a liberal conspiracy to suppress the “fact” that two 2 plus two 2 is really five5.

— Georgia Lockwood, Kirkland

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