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Letters 10/03/2011

- October 3rd, 2011  

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Different strokes...

I read Teresa Baker’s letter to the editor regarding your “My Style” column (Letters, 9/12). I applaud the editor’s comments about fashion creating millions of jobs and how it colors our world. I have a few comments to add.

Teresa, I’m sorry that you have such a problem with what some people will pay for an outfit. I have to say that I can only agree with you if we knew that these people were walking around in $400+ outfits while their children were unfed and their bills unpaid. But, for the sake of your comments and mine we don’t know that. Just like any reality TV show the “My Style” column is a voyeuristic look into other people’s lives and was created solely for entertainment purposes. If you weren’t so entertained you wouldn’t look at it every week.

I have a couple of questions for you.

How much money do you spend on your clothing? home? car? food? entertainment? etc.? Do you only buy your clothing at Goodwill or second-hand stores? Ask yourself what money you waste on unnecessary items. In the state of this economy are you purchasing only the bare minimum necessities that you need for everyday life? Are you living like a pauper so that you can donate the rest of your money to charities to help those people that you mention can barely feed themselves and pay rent? Do you get angry at people who drive a Cadillac instead of a Toyota Yaris? Do you despise those who eat at restaurants rather than have beans and rice at home?

Teresa, you need to realize that it is all relative. Some people have more than others. I am personally glad that in this economy that someone can afford $400+ for an outfit. Maybe these people live modestly in other areas. They may donate a lot of clothing and other goods to charities or spend a lot of free time helping others. These people whom you refer to as “distasteful” and flaunt their $400+ outfits may only have one lavish outfit and a few other sets of clothing, whereas you may have several other sets of clothing that add up to much more.

I personally don’t spend lavish amounts of money on clothing but spend money on myself in other ways. I also pride myself in being a very generous person with family, friends and charities. Like many others I’ve worked very hard all of my life to get to where I’m at today and I have no regrets for rewarding myself. I have learned that aside from helping others we have to reward ourselves too.

It is easy to be angry and jealous of those who have more than ourselves. Personally, I would much rather focus on all of the jobs that are created when these people whip-out their credit cards!

Kirk M. Day • TC

Dumbing down students

I was blown away upon learning the Cheboygan High School scored an unbelievable low bottom testing score of the 24th percentile in the whole state of Michigan. This is a total shameful disgrace and disaster, sending our students into society without proper education credentials and basics to do so.

This is a direct negative reflection on the Cheboygan School Board, school management and teachers. Resignation and firing of “entire” school board and “selective” termination of management and teachers that don’t measure-up is a must. There must be “accountability and responsibility.” Any future hiring in any capacity must be “at will” in order to immediately terminate those who don’t measure-up!

The real education issue today is “outcome-based education” and the “No Child Left Behind” curriculum, specifically designed to teach to the bottom 20%, discouraging individual acceleration while promoting teamwork instead. The United States was previously #1 in the world when we were book-learned without computers and calculators; when reading, writing and arithmetic were the core subjects. Now we’re #18 and falling because of “outcome-based education,” the “No Child Left Behind” curriculum, and the left-wing NEA, management and teachers.

There is not any justified need for increased revenue or spending to promote further failure. Now over 42 states including Michigan are doing away with cursive writing because of technology called computers. How stupid! Previously, back in history, when a person signed their name with an “X” they were considered illiterate and uneducated.

Where’s the outcry and resistance to this by the educated in our community? Today’s 12th grade education is equivalent to our previous 8th grade education and a college degree today is equivalent to our previous 12th grade education. This is called progress? No, it's called dumbing down.

Jerry Atherholt • Levering

Rein in corporations

To Congressman Dave Camp: I read your blog/newsletters with much concern. I, and I am sure millions of Americans, want to know how you are going to rein in Big Business, get our once goodpaying jobs back on American soil and putting Americans back to work?

Your party’s idea of putting everything on the back of the mom and pop shops will not work.

Wages are falling in this country for the average family man, yet we do not see Congress leading by example and cutting your own pay and benefits to share in this time of economic stress.

How do you plan to get Big Business to pay their fair share when you allow them to send profits overseas and hide in offshore accounts? With more American companies moving their headquarters overseas, will you allow the states to charge these and other foreign companies a surcharge for doing business within their state? Unregulated capitalism is destroying this country and our economy. How long will you allow this to go on? Whose entitlements are you going to cut?

James C Williams • Kalkaska

Economics lesson

Advocates for limited government seem to ignore the fact that limited government (under the Articles of Confederation) was replaced by a strong central government in the late 1700s. Alexander Hamilton argued a strong central government is necessary to promote commerce, industry, and a manufacturing base, which would be vital in times of war. America became an international powerhouse behind the wall of protective tariffs.

Adam Smith, the father of modern economic thought, supported a strong central government. He noted that the proper task of government is concern for the public interest and to prevent special interests from promoting their self-interest at the expense of the public. He noted that if merchants have the opportunity to circumvent the market, they will at the expense of the public.

Despite these warnings, Milton Freidman, an advocate of limited government, ignored the power of business to raise prices with limited competition and influenced President Reagan to weaken the anti-monopoly laws.

Dr. Freidman also ignored the effects of speculation in financial markets and did not account for how consumers could be deceived by hedge funds and derivatives. His ideas influenced Alan Greenspan and the direction the nation took in not only fighting inflation but also diminishing the government's role in the economy. He repeatedly stated that unfettered markets are best.

Our weakened anti-trust laws allowed banks to perform takeovers and mergers until they become too big to fail. Our relaxed business regulations allowed Wall Street to channel hundreds of billions of dollars of capital into foolish speculation in housing in the 2000s. Perhaps we need to focus on more effective government rather than limited government.

Ronald Marshall • Petoskey

Train wreck of a bill

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking another shot at gutting our clean air laws, this time in a bill called the “TRAIN Act.” Let’s remind members of Congress that our nation’s hunters and anglers have long recognized the value of clean air and clean water. It’s sad they attacked our wild places just in time for National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 25.

As some of our nation’s earliest conservationists, hunters and anglers have long worked to protect and restore habitat. And we gladly spend money on gear and equipment supporting local businesses at a time when everyone is worried about the economy.

If the TRAIN Act becomes law, the EPA could not propose clean air standards without the review of a new Cabinet-level committee, a duplicative and bureaucratic concoction designed to delay and block many environmental safeguards.

In addition, the bill would effectively delay or kill what’s called the smog “cross-state standard” and the air pollution standard. The initiative will curb pollutants like mercury and arsenic, substances proven to be hazardous to people and to wildlife.

Since 1972 when President Nixon signed a national proclamation, every fourth Saturday in September has been recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Day. This year, let’s thank the nation’s hunters and anglers for their support of clean air and water protections that keep our environment healthy for people and for wildlife.

Rep. Benishek, reject the TRAIN Act, a bill that should be called the “Train Wreck.”

Brenda Archambo • Cheboygan

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