Letters for June 11, 2015
Bridge into troubled history
For all those good-hearted folks lamenting that the Virginia Street Bridge is coming down, maybe I can set their minds at rest. Yes, it is a part of Reno history, but it is not an “historic landmark,” it is just an old and crumbling bridge. For those of us who have been around Reno for the past 60-70 years, we have seen traffic, both auto and pedestrian, increase drastically across a narrow, outdated bridge. We have also seen several major floods in the downtown area caused by debris congested at the bridge; floods that have damaged or destroyed downtown buildings and businesses, that have cut off travel from one side of town to the other. It’s too bad it wasn’t built by the Romans!
It is far past the time to replace the Virginia Street Bridge, and the new one will be beautiful and a much-needed improvement.
Let’s get logical
Re “Woman of the people” (Letters to the Editor, June 4):
I totally agree with Fred Speckmann that we should keep tax surpluses for rainy days.
But, then he goes on to say, “Lower taxes always results in greater growth and subsequent increase in tax base for an increase in tax revenue.” Let’s take that for a run. We reduce the tax on all small businesses by $1,000 a year. Each of them spends it on something—advertising, fix the roof, computer, new window, vacation, or wine. Some of the spending will be on taxable items. Maximum tax revenue will be 7.725 percent from spending $1,000 or $77.25, if it is taxable, otherwise $0.00.
So we gave up $1,000 for $77.25 in tax revenue. Is there some kind of math that I don’t know about? So, instead we give each home owner lower taxes by $1,000. How does the owner turn it into more money? Gambling, maybe? So what’s his scenario? How do we make money on reducing taxes?
Guns or butter?
The United States spends more on cruise missiles than we do on the National Endowment for the Arts. We spend more on nuclear weapons than on energy conservation programs. We spend more on a lethal, planetwide military presence in general than on domestic food and nutrition assistance. Those are your federal taxes at work 24-7 and, much like a career or an entire industry being outsourced to the “free” market of slave wages, you have no say in the matter. That is the point. Your nation is not in your hands—certainly not the hands holding the wallet where the money for which one collectively broke one’s back used to be. Without a choice or a valid voice, dare we ask how is this then representative democracy without expecting the reply of whistling tumbleweeds en route to Walmart? Why can’t one elect to which ends one’s taxes are spent instead of this circus crap of electing lobbied corporate stooges to the Congress? A credible people should choose the priorities of what’s done in their name on their dime. Wouldn’t we like to know our own national character? Are we warmongers? Are we humanitarians? Are we dust in the wind?
GOP killing babies with your vote
Re “Chaos theory” (Feature story, June 4):
The previous session of the Legislature was revealing. We here in America are preyed upon by an evil much more cruel and dangerous than ISIS. The left exalts itself as an intellectual race of practical human beings exhorting that believing in God and the principles of the sanctity of life is immaterial.
There is an evil more cruel and dangerous than the left, elected leaders, Republicans, who who laugh at family values and roadblock bills like Assembly Bill 405, requiring parental notification of teen abortions.
The greatest evil—we who vote for these renegades.
Re “Better paid workers don’t create jobs” (Let Freedom Ring, June 4):
Lately, I have been surprised by the reasonableness of Brenden Trainor’s opinions—until his recent articles regarding blacks and minimum wages. His discussion brought back a memory of writings by Henry Ford. Henry Ford established the $5 day and the 40-hour week. I can assure you that he did not do it out of the goodness of his heart. He did it because he realized that capitalism is a pyramid scheme. The rich basically skim off the lower classes. Wealth moves up, not down like a trickle. When workers have extra spendable money and time to enjoy the items they purchase, money moves up into the hands of the capitalists. He encouraged and set a standard for the Detroit area for this to happen. The reason the U.S is still the economic superpower—despite what you read about China—is that our population has money to spend and time to enjoy it. People like Trainor would deny that to the common worker in the name of profits for stockholders. It is common workers buying TVs, cars, homes, etc., that makes these stockholders wealthy, not the stockholders spending money on lavish luxury items. A minimum wage would not be necessary if this was recognized universally. Greed has instead caused employers to become concerned only with short-term profits at the expense of the real producers of wealth, the consumer base of well paid workers.
Fresh water thinking
From the looks of the list of appointees to the Governor’s Drought Forum, I’m wondering how serious he is about solutions for the drought. The same state department heads, who are all good people, will most likely come up with the same old policies and regulations. They have jobs already, and the drought, while important, may not be personal or urgent enough. The Forum has a huge task and should be looking for dreamers, innovators and practitioners to collaborate. What’s really missing are people who have been and will be seriously impacted by any recommended drought measures—local governments, tribes, water organizations such as irrigation districts and small water companies, ranchers, business owners, conservationists, well owners and urban dwellers. All have a stake in what’s recommended. Where are they on the governor’s lists? We need practical solutions that are daring, affordable and sustainable. Please call and ask the governor to include more varied representatives on his Drought Forum. If you’re interested, go to http://drought.nv.gov/
Re “Water over the lawn” (Notes from the Neon Babylon, May 7):
On National Public Radio, a water expert said that the best way to preserve water is to go out and buy a low-flush toilet. It saves about 15 percent water. Buying a new bowl—maybe several if you have more than one bathroom—and having it installed, does not sound too attractive to me. My solution is this: Let’s say I use the bathroom in my home five times a day. One of them is for big business, and I flush immediately. The other four are not, so I don’t flush more than one time. Two out of five gives a reduction of 40 percent at no extra cost.
Mette Helena Elfving