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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 5, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Upcoming legislative session

Ready to pay forward

The world has changed, yet Washington stands still and refuses to shift because politicians are polarized. They are too concentrated on conflicting positions, disabling them to think of solutions serving the greater good. What has happened to the pioneer spirit of Americans? A decision delayed solving problems for a positive or required solution is a strategy of inaction. The result of this delay tactic is to simply blame another, creating an endless cycle of victimization with an outcome of anger, frustration and no solution.

The media are advising the public to brace for legislative inaction from the 2009 legislative session because of budget deficits. The traditional “wagon circling” has already commenced. Need I say more about politicians to far exceed the public’s expectations for 2009?

In view of the aforementioned, I would like to advance two unpopular recommendations certain to guarantee not being re-elected, however that do coincide with future economic realities, which are: “pay forward” or “if you want to use a service you pay for it.”

Consider, if you will, a strategic plan for education and transportation reform implemented and executed by 2015 with a sliding tuition fee starting in the sixth grade to offset costs, as well as upgrade teacher salaries. All Interstate roads would be tolled; a 100 percent, aboveground mass-transit system would be constructed in Seattle and Spokane.

Simply stated, all goods and services have a reasonable cost for use and I think you will find a public appetite for change in the Pacific Northwest. I would invite you to think about what it means to live in a globalized economy or integration as the key concept since the world is connected via the Web. We live in a world far different from the post World War II period of internationalism, featuring a Cold War system with a world divided by walls.

I am willing to pay forward for opportunity costs to change. Are you willing to do the same? As I see it, the options are to stay in the past by reducing budgets and continuing to grow apart or to find a way to grow together.

— Charles H. Collins, Kent

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