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Letters to the Editor

Ballot power

October 19, 2011

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To the editor:

You can observe the disintegration of a nation to a third class country when:

• it drops its poor in the dump and ceases to care for their interests;

• industry deserts that country and moves its plants to other places in the world;

• its healthy labor unions disappear;

• the poor and disenfranchised resort to crime and drugs to survive; àla “Les Miserables;”

• underground groups begin an internal war of attrition.

Absurd, you say? The decisions of all our leadership, industry and super-wealthy are leading the United States down that path — when a sector of our voters say that the poor are worthless drags on our society; when they say they would rather have persons die than pay for their health care; when we have millions of the middle class slowly sinking into poverty; when the Kochs et al. can come through with so much money common citizens of intelligence and political savvy of our world cannot give their gifts to our nation. When we all passively sit back and do nothing, all the above is a distinct possibility.

How do we respond? The ballot box and peaceful demonstration are the only powers we have. Both require fervent grassroots efforts.

Comments

tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

No. I wasn't. I disagree with them, but that doesn't make him wrong on everything he says.

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tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

Speaking of ballot power, consider this:

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about our national debt and crazy spending:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election".

This is not as hard to do as people may think. The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!

The people demanded it. That was in 1971 - before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land - all because of public pressure.

Now that we have the internet, email / 24/7 communications, imagine how fast public pressure could be built to add a new admendment to the constitution? Hows this sound?

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

  1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.

  2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

  3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just like most Americans do.

  4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

  5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

  6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

  7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.

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camper 2 years, 6 months ago

So much is said about how the wealthy earned their fortune through hard work. This is true for the 1st generation who made an achievement. Therafter wealth is mostly passed on to the succeding generations and much of the income is earned passively as investment. I'm not envious, but I get tired of hearing all this stuff how the wealthy earned there way.

True that in America you can succeed thru initiative and hard work. But if you start from scratch the odds are stacked against you. In fact it's like joining a poker game with 10 chips. The wealthy guy who starts with 1,000 chips has the advantage.

In fact our economy is becoming like a poker game. You got one big dog who dominates the little guys who soon fold. Pretty soon, this big winner will run out of people to play poker with. Another analogy is the Henry Ford quote paraphrased as him wanting his workers to earn enough so that they can buy cars.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

The USA did not need to move industry anywhere. It was the higher profits driving that decision not an improved quality of life for America.

BTW there is no hard evidence that USA goods produced abroad at slave wages is reducing our cost of living. However there is hard evidence that corp america is doing very well at increasing their wealth. Then we see:

  • obscene CEO Pay packages

  • very happy shareholders

  • obscene golden parachutes

  • busy and sweet campaign contributions

  • millions upon millions upon millions of lost jobs,lost retirement plans,lost medical insurance = monster negative impact on economic growth = monster increased demand for social services and unemployment insurance

  • How in the world did Americans save money considering all of the above increases taxes and other costs of living?

I contend our cost of living has not been reduced only our wages, employment opportunities and secured retirement plans have been lost.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 6 months ago

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75x55 2 years, 6 months ago

A ton of preconceived notions in this letter - let's take one.

"industry deserts that country and moves its plants to other places in the world;"

Given that many places in the world have little or no concern for their populations ( oddly enough, what the LTE writer states is the problem with the US now ), the cost of labor is so low that industrial production in those countries generates products that are much cheaper than our domestic industry.

Does the letter writer demand a solution that is economically impossible? To try and artificially maintain a 'industrial/manufacturing' facade that is not sustainable in light of the increasing industrialization offshore?

Would the "the poor and disenfranchised " be willing to get pulled from their 'dump' and put to work in "industry" where they were paid 'competitively' in terms of the global labor market? Doubt it - they'd all run from the slave-conditions right back to the dump!

Kirby Hayes - you show a distinctly out-of-date view of the global economy and how the US fits into that. Your parochial view of the poor in the United States is also similarly myopic.

Drugs and crime are less a condition of economic deprivation than a deprivation of morality.

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Mixolydian 2 years, 6 months ago

I think most LTE and comment writers would do well to put down the thesaurus, back slowly away from the computer and get outside in the sunlight more.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 6 months ago

Spirit of Christmas Present: My time with you is at an end, Ebenezer Scrooge. Will you profit from what I've shown you of the good in most men's hearts? Ebenezer: I don't know, how can I promise! Spirit of Christmas Present: If it's too hard a lesson for you to learn, then learn this lesson! [opens his robe, revealing two starving children] Ebenezer: [shocked] Spirit, are these yours? Spirit of Christmas Present: They are Man's. This boy is Ignorance, this girl is Want. Beware them both, but most of all, beware this boy! Ebenezer: But have they no refuge, no resource? Spirit of Christmas Present: [quoting Scrooge] Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses? ====== At least the R's still like prisons, particularly the private kind they can let their buddies run.

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its_just_math 2 years, 6 months ago

Oh, and far as actually commenting on this LTE, hard to come up with a comment for such drivel, but I'll tell you one of the real reasons: Barack Hussein Obama.

"One day soon, someone will write a book titled “The Stumbling, Bumbling, One-Term Presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.” It will be a best-seller - off the nonfiction shelf, of course."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/16/curl-obamas-stumbling-bumbling-1-term-presidency/

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its_just_math 2 years, 6 months ago

"...fervent grassroots efforts."

If Kirby was writing about the Tea Party it would be "...extremist right-wing movement."

The intellectually bankrupt media likes to call most leftist uprisings "grassrooots" and most "rightwing" movements "extremist".

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mustrun80 2 years, 6 months ago

"it drops its poor in the dump and ceases to care for their interests;"

Are you serious?? Hey Kirby - how about adding to the list the fact that large civilizations begin to fail when the voters begin to realize they can blackmail their politicians into giving them whatever they want, whether we can pay for it or not.

I.e. massive handouts and entitlements for the poor which you seem to not realize is happening in our country.

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Gandalf 2 years, 6 months ago

Guess you didn't watch the repub debates and hear the cheering for let em die if they can't afford health care. Also guess you haven't heard compromise is evil. Or been watching guv brownie either.

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jaywalker 2 years, 6 months ago

Stop it. Calling for focus at the ballot box and for protests is prudent. But the rest of this letter is tripe. Nobody's dropping the poor in the dump, industry here is still 2nd in the world having just recently being supplanted by China, there is little to nothing "healthy" about our unions any longer, crime and drugs among the poor is certainly nothing new, and it was only a couple morons in a crowd that cheered letting the uninsured die. The poor ARE drags on any society; that's not a shocking statement, just something that needs to be fixed.

You wanna know what's killing this country? Attitudes like this LTE and the constant marginalization of each other on these boards. Vilification of political beliefs and this ever growing need to demonize half the country while pretending your party is sensible but your opponents' are THE problem; that's what's sending us down the rabbit hole. And we wonder why our "leaders" are so polarizing.

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Mike Gerhardt 2 years, 6 months ago

Well, jayhawxrok, that was an adult post.

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jayhawxrok 2 years, 6 months ago

Absolutely agree, out with the far right tin foil hat wearing liars.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

Haven't seen that post in a while, merrill. Are you going to put it back in heavy rotation?

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 6 months ago

Blue and white collar jobs are have been exiting the USA by the millions to China and India plus are supported by a special USA congress approved tax = this sucks.

The Kochs are not in it alone. The Wal-Mart family money,The AMWAY familiy money and the Erik Prince family money are generous contributors to this destruction of USA democracy and USA wages. These thinkers not only want to destroy unions they want most everyone to work for less money which could include you.

How many want to work for less money? How many want to pay more to the high profit medical insurance industry while at the same time observing a reduction in wages?

BTW there is no hard evidence that USA goods produced abroad at slave wages is reducing our cost of living. However there is hard evidence that corp america is doing very well at increasing their wealth. Then we see:

  • obscene CEO Pay packages
  • very happy shareholders
  • obscene golden parachutes
  • busy and sweet campaign contributions

I contend our cost of living has not been reduced only our wages and employment opportunities have been reduced.

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Gandalf 2 years, 6 months ago

ksrush. Are we reading the same post? I didn't see where the writer blamed anyone for his problems, Only made comments on the way the repubs are destroying the nation. I think he is dead on! And I don't have a dead a$$ and retired from the private sector at 60. Want to talk about children 5 years old, look at your post!!

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ksrush 2 years, 6 months ago

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