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December 6, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Why is begging legal and selling is not?
I think the mistletoe debate is very thought-provoking [“Oregon girl gets top row of braces after mistletoe snag hits the news,” NWWednesday, Dec. 4].
It presents an issue of morals versus extremely finite legal issues: a question that is truly hard to answer.
It is clear from a moral perspective that she should be able to be able to receive medical treatment. But should she be able to harmlessly bend the rules? The article would suggest yes by implying that the guard is in the wrong here by denying her the chance for dental care.
November 8, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Our economy depends on Boeing
Editor, The Times:
I’m concerned about your obviously favorable opinion of the contract that Boeing has offered to the union [“Union leader: Boeing offer ‘a piece of crap,’ page one, Nov. 8].
I think we are all well aware of the impact that Boeing’s leaving would do to our economy. But I also think folks would like to know, with solid economic numbers, what benefits this 800-pound gorilla brings to this state.
We have been hearing for years, decades even, about the return on our investments with tax breaks granted to Boeing. However, many folks question the value of having Boeing instead of more tech types such as Microsoft, Amazon and others. At least without Boeing, there wouldn’t be the constant threat of a big employer taking its marbles and playing somewhere else.
Maybe that tax money lost from granting tax breaks should be spent on educating our workforce instead. And yes, we know that the Microsofts of the world receive tax breaks as well, but it just doesn’t feel like we are under constant threat of those companies leaving and severely damaging our economy.
Don Curtis, Clinton
November 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM
American workers lead to a bright American future
All of the conservative, Republican, tea party people feel that poor people, who might need some help getting their lives together, just want to bury their snouts in the trough of free benefits forever.
I don’t believe that for a moment. Yes, there are times when people, through no fault of their own, get laid off from their jobs and are destined to lose everything without some “temporary” government aid. I feel the vast majority of Americans want to have a decent job that they can work hard at and be able to support themselves and their families. It’s a matter of pride and necessity.
In America, having a job is about the most important thing a person can have outside of family. It’s a matter of great pride to be seen as someone contributing to the greater good. Sure, there is a small minority of people who have little trouble accepting government aid for as long as they can. These people are few in numbers. Decent jobs in America for those who want them and the concept that when everybody is doing better mean we have a good American future.
Richard B. Ellenberger, Normandy Park
October 27, 2013 at 8:29 AM
2008 recession continues to affect those who had nothing to do with it
There is a lot of pressure for the state Supreme Court to overrule lower court rulings on state employee pensions [“Supreme Court: rule against pension lawsuits, Opinion, Oct. 24].
A recent editorial pressures the court to rule against state employees because the state needs the money. What is at issue is a maximum 3 percent cost-of-living raise that starts at ages 67 and 68 and is only granted if there is inflation. This involves an older pension plan where nearly all employees are already retired.
State employees and the state were supposed to equally share in paying into this pension fund. The employees always did, but when times were lean, the state neglected to pay their share, promising to do it later. Of course, they never did. Now it insists on changing the rules after people have already retired. This UCOLA was negotiated instead of pay increases. The economic disaster of 2008 keeps punishing people who had nothing to do with causing it.
Wanda Granquist, Auburn
October 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Use money to save lives, not fund wars
In the recent past, there was U.S. consideration of military action in Syria. We all know that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost us about $1 trillion, with more yet to be spent.
One alternative to spending trillions on the military is to spend a tiny amount of aid on programs that are helpful. For instance, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria has saved millions of lives and has brought us to the possibility of bringing those three diseases under control.
Let’s try helping, and see if by working with others, we can reduce our military spending.
Bob Dickerson, Seattle
October 14, 2013 at 7:05 AM
Who has the courage to step up?
There is a way to resolve the current impasse in Congress. One member of Congress needs to have the courage to introduce a bill that would cut off congressional paychecks until an agreement is reached, which pulls our country away from the latest financial abyss. [“What the fight over the federal debt limit is all about,” page one, Oct. 9].
As members of Congress appear to have no problem denying paychecks to many federal employees and others dependent on their actions, there should be no reason that they would regard this as unfair.
As they approach their own personal financial abyss, surely they will be motivated to do their jobs and protect their employers — the taxpayers — from their incompetence and bickering. We would be interested to see not only who has the courage to propose such a measure, but who has the courage to vote against it.
Aurora King-Hedinger, Shoreline
October 8, 2013 at 7:05 PM
Causes are well known
Republican House Speaker John Boehner wants to know the cause of the requirement for a debt-ceiling increase. The causes are well known: outsourcing of American jobs and manufacturing, accumulation of wealth with the top 1 percent, tax cuts for the wealthy so that the wealth at the top is not fairly taxed, fighting two unfunded wars after 9-11, offshore sheltering of corporate wealth, increasing veteran pensions, financial meltdown from the housing bubble, the result in large part from poorly regulated banks, and failure to tax stock market transactions.
Please share these with U.S. Rep. Boehner so that he can get on with running the government in a responsible fashion.
G.A. Beitel, Port Orchard
September 24, 2013 at 6:32 PM
Unhappy property owner
Yes, we have an improving economy, and yes, real-estate prices are rising. [“Budget reflects McGinn’s priorities,” NW Tuesday, Sept. 24.]
Whatever methods the city is using to raise real-estate taxes, they are blunt axes for many of us. The real-estate taxes on our Queen Anne condominium have been raised substantially for two years running, nearly 20 percent since we purchased our property 14 months ago.
Independent estimates of the resale value of our property indicate that it has not changed in that time.
I look forward, with pleasure, to filling out my ballot in the coming mayoral election.
Stuart Weibel, Seattle
September 24, 2013 at 7:26 AM
Share the wealth
The recently published “no” argument in minimum-wage debate is baffling. [“Should fast-food chains pay a ‘living wage’?”, Opinion, Sept. 21.]
The writer references medieval doctors bleeding people and wages of Mexican workers, considers a tiny island in the Pacific equivalent to the U.S. economy, and suggests that the economic role of minimum-wage jobs is entry-level employment for higher-paying jobs because all minimum-wage jobholders are inexperienced workers with little value to the American economy.
Not only that, but we also overlook that fast-food workers can be replaced with less expensive machines. Whew, this is a truly remarkable senior policy analysis of American-labor economics.
The true impact of paying a “living” minimum wage would be the ability of American (not Mexican or Samoan) citizens to earn enough money to pay for a place to live, buy food to eat and clothe children.
This would thereby reduce the burden of our punitive government to supplement poverty-level wages by handing out food-stamp programs, free lunches for schoolchildren, and hot meals for homebound senior citizens.
Your view of bleeding by leeches is another’s view of sharing the wealth earned by the hard work and labor suffered by minimum-wage workers.
Joy Findley, North Bend
Make independent choice
The debate over the minimum wage shows a stunning lack of understanding of elementary economics.
To wit, if you raise the price of labor, employers will use less of it, and output prices in those industries will rise.
If you feel strongly that wages are too low, stop shopping at Walmart, McDonald’s and other businesses that offer incredible values. Just simply direct your shopping dollars to higher-priced mom-and-pop stores and independent merchants.
You’ve had that choice for a while; why aren’t you exercising it?
Stu Haas, Seattle
September 20, 2013 at 7:02 PM
Time is of the essence
It’s time we “double down” on our effort to get an I-5 Columbia River bridge funding agreement in place right now. [“Oregon looks at building span across Columbia on its own,” NW Sunday, Sept. 8.]
If we can’t get a Coast Guard bridge permit this fall, as well as negotiate a working agreement between our two states and the federal government to salvage this bridge in some form, an economic death spiral for this region is assured.
Local high-tech companies, as well as outside companies looking to locate here, watch in disbelief as we purposefully neglect the needs of our decaying local transportation infrastructure.
As commuter wait-times and product delivery schedules lengthen, local companies will have to seek more favorable locations for their operations. Our skilled local workforce will follow the work, as good family-wage jobs disappear from southwest Washington.
That we need a new bridge is obvious, but who believes we could really start over with another ten-year planning and permitting process?
Public projects in other states are already in line to take our earmarked federal funding. After another decade of funding projects in other states, what will be left? We need to support efforts to build a bridge now.
Edward Barnes, Vancouver
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