Letters for November 11, 2010

Letter of the week
Bad government

Re “’80s rewind” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, November 4):

[Ronald] Reagan said government was bad, and he gave us bad government.

He was proud to be governor of California and not pay taxes by owning cattle and writing off his income. His followers were the first Fox News crowd and children of the racist South. When he bashed hippies in Berkeley, his extra dash of cruelty attracted the “fat cat” Republican Party. In order to “fit in,” he and Nancy were gifted by the “friends of Ron and Nancy” to finance the wealthy lifestyle Nancy craved.

California is still impoverished by Proposition 13, that gave commercial property owners a free ride since 1978. His [savings and loan] law was also a license to steal and required a government bailout. He is the grandfather of the tea party.

It’s nice to remember where this cycle began on the 30th anniversary of the decline and fall of the American Empire.

Alfreda Weiss
Fair Oaks

Ron the money man

Re “’80s rewind” by Sasha Abramsky (SN&R Feature, November 4):

Bad enough we had to watch the rest of the country go down the tubes last week. Did we really need to see the father of the “no government but what I need to protect my money” tribe on the cover?

Rick Sebald

All Americans get freedom

Re “Building tolerance” by Zahida Mehirdel (SN&R Essay, November 4):

It’s a real pleasure to read Zahida Mehirdel’s writing. She’s clear and cuts right to the heart of the matter.

Americans aren’t one religion, political ideology, ethnicity or color. We’ve always been the country where everybody has the freedom to pursue their own dreams, as long as they’re not hurting anyone else.

The problem with the so-called “ground zero mosque” isn’t a building. It wouldn’t matter if Park51 really was a mosque instead of a community center with a prayer room. The problem is a bunch of selfish, frightened people who don’t want to extend the guarantee of freedom to Americans who don’t look, think and pray exactly like they do.

Jan Kline

A vote for tolerance

Re “Building tolerance” by Zahida Mehirdel (SN&R Essay, November 4):

This was a really good piece of information! I totally agree with the author.

Nagela Mayar

Muslim propaganda

Re “Building tolerance” by Zahida Mehirdel (SN&R Essay, November 4):

It figures SN&R would let a Muslim spread their propaganda about the ground zero mosque. It’s a mosque! That’s where the terrorists become terrorists. We need to stop letting these things be built. America is a Christian nation. It always has been and it always will be. No monuments for Islamic terrorists!

Beth Landon

Who needs bookstores?

Re “The half-smart city” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, November 4):

I only have two suggestions. First, we apparently have enough bookstores, so we should leave them out of the plan. Second, with all due deference to the mayor, from a loyalty perspective, I think he should be calling us the Blue Diamond Valley, rather than that Modesto-related name.

J. Maness

Reality trumps theoreticals

Re “Outsourcing is good?” (SN&R Letters, November 4):

Where are those higher-paying jobs in America that Mr. [F. Paul] Brady’s letter claims outsourcing has created? The only higher pay is for CEOs (after laying off tens of thousands of Americans, the CEO who laid us off bought a $3 million yacht—is this the higher-paying job he means?).

I am college educated with 25 years experience in high-paying jobs in the computer industry. After my job was shipped to Asia, I was out of work for a year. I sent out over 1,000 applications for advertised and unadvertised IT positions. I attended every job fair. I went on more than 100 interviews. I also wrote, published and marketed several books; after training and being tested for licenses, I became a paid tax preparer; and I helped market legal services.

Even with all three income sources, I was making about 50 percent of what I had been paid before my job was outsourced. I finally got hired to a full-time state job, only by agreeing to take a 66 percent pay cut from my previous salary. I’d been a manager with a staff of six; now I was starting over as a clerk/typist. After one promotion and two slight raises in two years, I’m back doing IT projects and now at 50 percent of my old salary, not adjusted for inflation.

I have no doubt that outsourcing brings corporations more sales in other countries and brings lower-priced goods to the United States. None of that puts food on my table. I hear Mr. Brady saying all of this has been a good thing for me, but excuse me if I don’t dance for joy over my much lowered economic reality.

As for “carbon-police bureaucracy,” what is the alternative? Valero tried to scare voters into scrapping environmental laws; voters were smart enough to say no to Valero. I don’t know if Mr. Brady has children or how he feels about them, but I’d like to know that, by the time they are my age (55), my son and my daughter still have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, even if it means Valero will punish us with higher gasoline prices.

Alternative energy may temporarily reduce employment, as Mr. Brady claims, but once the economy adjusts to the shift from coal and oil to wind and biofuel and solar (much as the economy previously adjusted from farm to industry and from industry to information), employment will rise, and this will be employment in occupations less harmful to our planet.

I also disbelieve his claim that government jobs cost more than private-sector jobs. In the private sector, I got paid double what I do now, plus I had paid medical insurance and matching 401(k) contributions. I now pay my own medical and retirement from my 50 percent lower income. The reality of the experiences that I am living trumps his hypothetical statistics.

Ed Hass
Elk Grove