Letters for December 26, 2013

Wealth vs. wealth

Re “Ultimate Kings arena number crunch” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature Story, December 19):

A much simpler way to understand the fancy words of warring paid economists: Understand that every economy has two kinds of jobs. There are jobs that are the result of wealth and those that create wealth. Remember, wealth is not money, but the goods and services created in the economy. Money is merely the medium of exchange. Thus, central offices for the state of California, [Blue Diamond Growers], Apple, a suggested train-maintenance yard, tourism, etc., bring money into Sacramento. This money then flows through the local economy to the jobs that are the result of wealth. That begins with basic necessities such as rent, heat and food. If the economy has income greater than basic necessities, then there is money to support movie houses, fine restaurants, high-end shopping and sport teams.

The principles work on a large scale as well as a small scale. Anyone understanding the principles will ask, “Where will the billions come [from]?” The only possible place they can come is from communities that surround Sacramento, which really are just a part of the same economic community. The plan does not show outside money coming to Sacramento, but it does show the money being shipped out of Sacramento once the arena is built and operational. During the building phase, money will circulate in the community, but the money will be siphoned off each year through reduced city services and forced tax hikes. Then ask yourself: “Where do the employees with the Kings spend their six-, seven- and eight-figure salaries?”

I read somewhere that a job that brings money into a community will support one other family. Thus, almond growers, the state government, HP [and] Apple, have created more net wealth in Sacramento than the Kings, who often end their fiscal year in the red.

Charles R. Donaldson


A tarnished reputation

Re “Debunking CPS” by Raheem F. Hosseini (SN&R News, December 12):

This is much-appreciated data and insight on current efforts to improve Child Protective Services operations, however, the agency definitely has a lot more work to do before they can significantly improve their tarnished reputation and should understandably face some tough public scrutiny. While I appreciate the hard work of CPS social workers, the horror stories that we see and read and hear about prove there are some huge flaws with the system. Our society has a huge dependence on escapism via chemicals, and I don’t see the need for CPS lessening anytime soon, but it’s at least hopeful to see that automatic removal is no longer standard, and that it is largely recognized that the state and automatic foster care is not a good parental replacement.

I hope to see you continue with this kind of necessary investigation and reporting.

Stacy Kirby


No room at the inn

Re “Capitol Avenue freeze-out” by Cody Drabble (SN&R Beats, December 12):

When you live in a sleeping bag and it’s 25 degrees, you sometimes hope you won’t wake up in the morning. I lived with Jake the Wonder Dog in the bushes off the bike trail for two-and-a-half years. I too sometimes wished I wouldn’t wake up to face another cold, horrible, boring day. I was lucky: I received Supplemental Security Income after only one appeal and now am inside at Quinn Cottages around the corner from Sacramento Loaves & Fishes. But most of my friends from that period are still out there, freezing their collective homeless asses off. I think it’s ironic that [at a Sacramento City Council meeting] Jenn Rogar used as an example a picture of a woman sleeping under “a mountain of blankets” only 18 blocks from the state Capitol. She noted that many of the disenfranchised are cold and suffering as the city prepares to build a multimillion-dollar overblown present to a basketball team that cannot win. As I’ve said many times, it could happen to you.

Divorces happen. Layoffs happen. Foreclosures happen. Many people are one paycheck away from the street.

The shifting of cash to the Arena From Hell while people on the street are suffering, and sometimes dying, is not fair, not right and is inhumane. It’s Christmas season, and for most of the homeless, there is simply no room at the inn.

Stacy Selmants