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September 24, 2013 at 6:58 PM
Hemorrhage of greed
James Sherk claims paying fast-food workers a $15 hourly wage is akin to attaching leeches to their skin, in that it will hurt them economically. [“Should fast-food chains pay a ‘living wage’?”, Opinion, Sept. 21.]
Where is his grave concern for the leeching already at full throttle — massive corporate profits sucking the life blood of American workers?
What’s really needed is a tourniquet to halt the hemorrhage of greed.
Sherk’s prophecy of U.S. economic collapse like that of American Samoa and the end of Big Mac consumption if the cost of a burger and fries increases would be humorous, were it not such reckless disregard for workers forced to depend on such jobs to feed and house their families.
Gwen Lundberg, Seattle
September 18, 2013 at 6:32 PM
Priorities need to change
It is true that everyone looks for more, bigger, faster — fill in your own blank. [“Column: America, land of the overeaters,” Opinion, Sept. 18.]
What we cannot seem to have is safer, kinder, gentler, more loving. So we substitute; we drown our anxieties in huge meals, incessant use of cellphones while avoiding actual human contact, in spending wads of money on “smarter” phones and computers and televisions.
What would happen if in America today all those who overeat started eating sensibly; if all those who watch TV were suddenly satisfied with the sets they have now; if all cell users decided they did not need to upgrade every two years; if cars were kept for 20 years instead of three?
Our economy would collapse. The stock market would tank. Apple and Microsoft would become irrelevant. Costco would offer smaller packages of stuff.
The top 1 percent, who make lots more money because they have learned how to fuel our quest for completeness and satisfaction in life by pushing more, bigger, faster products would see their incomes disappear. The bottom 99 percent would have a little more disposable income to spend on improvements to the way of life that leads to more safe, kind, gentle and loving environments for all of us.
Will it ever happen here? Not in my lifetime, not as long as Americans have their priorities so screwed up. Greed, sloth, gluttony; as long as they win, we all lose.
Frank Mitchell, Seattle
September 18, 2013 at 6:54 AM
Congress should protect people, not corporations
The House of Representatives is likely to vote this week to cut food assistance by $40 billion over 10 years, a cut that could threaten an adequate food supply for as many as six million Americans. [“House bill would cut $4B a year from food stamps,” seattletimes.com, Sept. 16.]
While the annual $4 billion cut would impact a diverse range of people (including veterans), it would disproportionately hurt children, who make up almost half of food stamps recipients.
Congress needs to re-evaluate its priorities. These politicians are OK with taking food away from children, while at the same time continuing to protect tax loopholes that allow corporations like Apple, General Electric and Verizon to avoid paying their fair share in federal taxes.
It’s outrageous that Congress would play political games with people who are struggling to put food on the table. Our elected officials need to stand up and protect their constituents, families and communities; not just corporations.
Bonnie Daut, Kent
August 17, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Follow the money
The letter from Michelle Munneke claims that sequestration of the federal budget does not solve the problems of our inefficient tax code and entitlement programs that drive the deficit. [“Northwest Voices: Sequestration and the federal debt,” Opinion, Aug. 13.]
Those two “problems” are actually conservative code phrases for their political agenda. Fixing the “inefficient tax code” means that we should give more tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy on the false claim that these breaks will generate new jobs.
Large corporations are actually responsible for destroying American jobs and shipping them to China and India so that corporate chieftains can gain big bonuses from cost-cutting.
The real job creators in this economy are small businesses and entrepreneurs, and business owners have said that they would get more benefit from regulatory relief than from tax cuts.
Another major driver of the deficit is the military-industrial complex that was first identified by general, war-hero and then President Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican. The United States spends more money on the military than the next 10 nations combined.
What do you do with the huge military we have? Generals and admirals want to have a war to fight, it is a career-builder for them. Politicians begin to think that bombing or invading some country is the instant solution to our problems all over the world.
We can solve our deficit problems, but first we have to follow the spending dollars into the black holes where they disappear.
Martin Collins, Lynnwood
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