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July 29, 2013 at 7:12 PM
Wage gap grows
Froma Harrop addressed the abuse of minimum-wage labor in this country and the use of the immigration bill in Congress to aid in its continuation. [“Column: A steady supply of cheap labor is nobody’s right,” Opinion, July 27.]
However, the problem extends well beyond the minimum-wage group. Boeing and Microsoft are leaders in trying to expand the visa program so they can import lower-wage skilled workers (computer folks) from foreign nations.
Congress recently increased the pilot-retirement age by five years, claiming there was about to be a shortage of pilots, while there were many pilots in layoff status.
I know of two youngsters who borrowed more than $100,000 to complete college-aviation programs, only to discover they could not pay off the loans if they were to enter the industry with our regional airlines paying less than $25,000 salaries.
Congress continues to pass laws that have the wages of most people falling behind inflation, while the top few percent continue with large salary increases. The wage gap continues to expand to the detriment of our country as the majority allows sideline issues to dominate.
Dan Shields, Auburn
July 29, 2013 at 4:26 PM
Whole Foods conflict is a gadfly act
Mayor Mike McGinn’s actions regarding Whole Foods are appropriate for a gadfly, not a mayor. [“McGinn’s stance on wages ups stakes in mayoral race,” NW Sunday, July 28.]
Gadflies throw out ideas without regard for the consequences of their timing or methods of delivery. They have no obligation to consult with anyone else or to be restrained by the legality of the ideas they propose.
Should the city become involved in advocating or even legislating for a higher minimum wage? Is this something that should become part of our land-use policies? It is reasonable for our city government and citizens to consider these questions.
But it was not reasonable for McGinn, without consulting the City Council, to threaten a single employer with rejection of a land-use application because the mayor personally believes they should pay higher salaries.
This is only the latest in a long series of behaviors that have alienated many other elected officials and seriously damaged McGinn’s effectiveness. That McGinn, after four years in office, still doesn’t get it that a mayor can’t behave as a gadfly disqualifies him for re-election.
John Russell, Seattle
I’ve lived and voted in nine cities since I graduated from college in 1979. Until the last four years, I considered Seattle the least tribal and most considerate of the whole bunch.
Unfortunately, Michael McGinn has badly eroded that aspect of Seattle’s appeal. Whether or not he wanted to do it, McGinn has deeply fractured the city. We now have neighborhoods at war with downtown, bicyclists at war with drivers and homeowners at war with apartment dwellers.
Worse than that, we have a mayor at war with truth and common sense, and who has made absolutely no effort to bridge any gaps. I supported McGinn in 2009, and I will be voting for anyone but him in 2013.
Seattle needs to send Michael McGinn packing. If that doesn’t happen in the primary, then it must be done in the general election.
In nearly 40 years of voting, I can’t think of any electoral mistake worse than my support for Michael McGinn.
Charles Pluckhahn, Seattle
July 24, 2013 at 4:38 PM
Murray not right for mayor
That saying, “you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” holds true in regard to state Sen. Ed Murray running for mayor. [“Murray got job at UW amid cuts,” NW Sunday, July 21.]
Although Murray was a leader in the Senate, accomplishing a lot, he, along with others, could not pass the sorely-needed transportation bill.
Further, what magic wand caused the University of Washington to pay Murray $50,000 yearly for whatever expertise he had, when the UW was facing an $81 million state budget cut, higher tuitions and loss of hundreds of jobs in 2009? Even with the strapped budget, the UW’s Office of Planning and Budget hired Murray. Was it to influence more money for the UW?
Of course, Ed Murray is an honest man, and we can’t fault his salaries, but his lengthy tenure in the state Legislature does not necessarily qualify him to be the mayor of Seattle. When something’s not broke, don’t try to fix it!
Leonard Larson, Seattle
July 17, 2013 at 7:12 PM
Senators got the job done
We should thank the state Senate bipartisan majority for getting a budget passed and holding the line on new taxes. [“Tax breaks instrumental in reaching deal on budget,” NW Sunday, June 30.]
The senators showed courage to make hard cuts that are needed. The leaders were able to put party politics aside and get the job done — a good example to the other Washington.
We are proud of Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, for his leadership and efforts during the past session.
Steve Altick, Auburn
Republican voice was heard
I have become weary regarding the bipartisanship that continues to permeate our government. Recently, Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, posted on Facebook that he held the Republican-led Senate responsible for tax breaks. [“Darigold tax break irks state legislator,” NW Saturday, July 6.]
All I can say is thank you, Republican-led Senate. This year, for the first time, it was refreshing to see a process that was not Democrat-led in the House, Senate and governor’s office.
Two individuals in the Senate provided a Republican majority that required these three bodies to work more collaboratively, rather than the one-party domination we have seen in the past.
I, for one, appreciate that a budget was passed with only minimal tax increases that meet state needs to increase educational funding. I also feel a tax break to Darigold that will increase jobs is beneficial to our state.
Isn’t it interesting that many of the tax breaks, including this one, were sponsored by members of Rep. Carlyle’s party? Yet this legislator, who approved these tax breaks, now seeks to create more dissension between parties. I agree with Rep. Carlyle on one thing: The taxpayers do deserve better, and I believe this past legislative session through collaboration rather than domination was indeed better.
Carolyn Yeager, Seattle
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