Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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Coming Together

Robert Downes - February 2nd, 2009
Talk about bad timing.
When Rush Limbaugh states his wish that President Barack Obama’s policies fail, he might as well desire that millions of Americans be laid off. Of course rich talk-show hosts are unlikely to experience the anguish of unemployment, but it seems astonishing that anyone could hope for more suffering by his countrymen.
Is Limbaugh also hoping that Obama is a failure as Commander-in-Chief, leading to unnecessary deaths of our troops? If Rush really feels this way, he must be enjoying attempts to sabotage bi-partisan efforts by our lawmakers that might relieve the pain of Americans unemployed and not covered by health insurance.
No one, including Obama and Limbaugh, knows for sure what, if anything, the government can do to fix the economy. Yet, we only need to flash back a couple of generations to discover the short-term solution for helping Americans who are hurting financially.
During the 1930s, the Great Depression ravaged the United States and global economy far beyond what we are currently experiencing. By the peak of the Depression, 11,000 of the 25,000 banks in the United States had failed. 25 percent of Americans were unemployed compared to less than 10 percent unable to find work today. The average household income dropped by 40 percent between 1929 and 1932.
Still, the impact of such economic crises goes far beyond a stack of dire statistics. Many of us recall or have relatives who have strong memories of surviving the Great Depression era.
During that time, my dad’s family took in two children left homeless by the sudden death of a co-worker. My grandparents didn’t think twice about raising these young children and opening their home to others in need.
My mother is old enough to remember that her grandparents lost all of their life savings by bank failure during that period. Not long afterward her grandfather died, forcing his wife (and daughter) to move in with another family as a full-time housekeeper. A little later, my mother’s parents took in her recently divorced uncle who was recuperating from a leg being amputated. While he recovered, the six other family members slept in the home’s only other bedroom.
Bottom line - there was no government safety net for financially distressed families during the Great Depression. There were stimulus programs that helped put people back to work over a period of years, but in the interim most people pooled their resources to help each other survive until the good times returned.
Today, we can’t expect politicians to bail us out of our financial problems. Even the president stated that government is not the ultimate answer. He implored us in front of the largest gathering in Washington D.C. history that “we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin the work of remaking America.”
Immediately after September 11, 2001, virtually everyone stood behind our president, George W. Bush, in unity. The current economic crisis, too, is not a time for divisiveness or to wish failure on anyone.
The moment has come, again, to pull together as Americans. Sometimes we forget that life isn’t all about money and possessions - which come and go. I believe my mother when she tells me, “People are the important thing.”
 
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