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Defending workers’ rights
Proposal 2 on Michigan’s November ballot doesn’t force anyone to join a union or to pay union dues. Then why vote for it? Yes on 2 prevents those who want to eliminate collective bargaining from using their power to abuse workers’ rights.
Abuse of power has been demonstrated recently in Wisconsin. Governor Walker removed collective bargaining rights for a select few -- public employees who voted against him in a recall ballot.
Walker said it was about saving money, but even after the unions accepted steep pay and benefit cuts, he continued his drive to end collective bargaining, clearly favoring authoritarian rule.
The elimination of cronyism is essential to collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is founded upon the same principles of democracy that our country holds dear: the freedom of association, self-organization and the right to vote.
Through negotiation and consensus, workers can assemble to identify key issues such as adequate pay, humane hours and fair performance assessment. Assembling and voting on these issues is a democratic process.
Our country joins Afghanistan, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Somalia in not yet enshrining into law the right to collective bargaining. Voting Yes on Proposal 2 is a step in the right direction.
Mary Eliowitz • TC
Appalled by article
I am appalled that a guest opinion writer in the Northern Express would insinuate Kirsten Keilitz was not qualified for a probate judge job simply because she does not have children. The probate court does not only deal with children, but elder law, estates, etc.
Many of us who have children have not yet had to deal with aging parents as Kirsten has. (And let’s be honest, many judges with families are not involved with their own children.) She is both professionally and personally qualified for the job. She is smart, sensitive, rational, and trustworthy. She is the best candidate for judge.
Colleen Shannon • via email
Oil biz targeting Obama
Why are Republicans opposed to Obama’s plan to allow taxes on very high incomes to return to where they were during the Clinton years? Have they forgotten that when Clinton raised the top tax rate, what followed was arguably the best economy in American history?
In Obama we finally have a leader who stood up to the oil and auto industries by substantially raising mileage standards. This is the only way to have a meaningful effect on gasoline prices. And, more importantly, it will greatly reduce our spending on gas simply by reducing the amount we consume.
It’s no wonder Marathon Oil chose the two months prior to the election to close their Detroit refinery. The oil industry wants Obama gone because he has the nerve to work on behalf of the people.
Fred Cepela • TC
Australians vs. Paul Ryan
I have lived in Australia for 33 years and respect their way of life. They did not go into a recession in 2008-9 because they have a good fiscal policy and bank regulation. They have an excellent national health system, a carbon tax, and educational support. Yes, there is healthy debate between right and left on policy issues but Parliamentary leaders from the major parties compromise on issues vital to the nation’s health.
The Australian media views America through this policy framework. It is not surprising that they view the Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan as not credible. The Australian “Financial Times” columnist Martin Wolf summed it up as follows: “Over the next decade, the Ryan plan is inadequate and incomplete. Over the long run, it is incredible. It may be good politics, it is bad policy.”
• Ryan priorities are: tax cuts benefiting the rich; spending cuts predominantly affect the poor.
• Ryan does not specify reductions in tax expenditures, which he says would generate a 19% GDP tax revenue.
• Ryan’s plans to pay for his tax cuts by slashing tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts and state/local taxes is not going to happen.
• Ryan predicts that by 2050 federal health spending will be lowered by 0.75%, despite the steady increase in seniors, simply by eliminating eligibility for over 65s in 2022. If you believe that is likely, I have a bridge to sell you.
• Ryan’s plan would raise the Federal debt by $6 trillion over the next decade.
This view from down-under is worth considering by American voters.
Peter Wolcott • Northport
Tit for tat on ID requests
On 7/17/12 I submitted a Letter to the Editor to this area’s daily newspaper. To date this letter has gone unpublished.
The letter was critical of an article which appeared criticizing “Voter ID” requirements. The article contained the standard “voter ID” hyperbole.
The same ‘newspaper’ that claims that Voter ID requirements would “disenfranchise voters,” has no problem requiring verification of identity prior to printing letters to the editor. Excuse me while I turn to my well-used Webster dictionary seeking the definition of hypocrisy!
The following comes from their website:
“We must contact you before publication to confirm you actually sent this letter, so we require your telephone and address.” They also require your name.
To date, no contact has been initiated by the newspaper for verification. In fact, three follow-up emails, and one follow-up phone call initiated by myself have gone unanswered.
I understand the paper’s right to choose what they publish, but in the interest of full disclosure they should clearly state that if a letter is critical of their opini... whoops, ‘news article’ then it will not be considered for publication.
I submit this letter to Northern Express fully understanding that they also require proof of identity, and have in the past run articles critical of “Voter ID.” I’ve previously read, in the Northern Express, letters critical of Northern Express articles. I believe this letter stands a chance of publication even in light of these facts.
The other newspaper? I’m thinking of adding a couple parakeets to our family.
Tony Melling • via email
Gravy train slowing down
In reference to “Man Without a Plan” (Letters, 9/17): Just wondering if you watch the news and have observed the uprising of the Arabic people burning our flags, chanting death to America, attacking our embassies and killing our citizens, not to mention the threat of Iran’s nuclear capabilities.
If not, then you are living in a bubble and are very misinformed as to why the military budget needs to stay intact.
Oh, and by the way, as far as I know Bush has not been president for the last three-and-a-half years, so blaming him won’t fly anymore.
Seems like most Democrats have not much to condemn Mitt Romney for, so they're grasping at anything they can find, such as his income tax, which if you check into further he has paid in the last few years.
Playing the race card is not going to work anymore either. It is not Obama’s skin color that is in question here, it is his policies that are not working to bring about jobs and his lack of strength to lead this country in times of international crisis that has many people worried.
Food and gas prices are soaring (inflation) and if you have not tried to find a job in the last three years you have no idea of how hard it is to find one. My hunch is you’re worried about the free taxpayer gravy train slowing down. What you don’t seem to understand is that a system that relies on people working to pay the taxes for the so-called “free programs” can not sustain for the long haul without people finding jobs and will eventually come crashing down.
Melody Bajema • via email