Best behind us
The face-off in Wisconsin is about a lot more than balancing a budget.
Currently, the top 1 percent control more than 40 percent of our country’s financial wealth. In the mid-1950s, 36 percent of the United States labor force was unionized. In 2010, the union membership rate was 12 percent.
Unions brought us the eight-hour work day, minimum wage and employer-sponsored health care. Corporations that are not accountable to their workers will do to employees what they did to the financial market.
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The fight in Wisconsin will deflect focus from the ever-increasing disparity between the rich and the middle class and will instead ignite a battle among the middle-class public and private sectors.
The paradox is that the very people (middle-class, private sector workers) fighting so hard to elect and retain conservative politicians will be the ones who suffer most (along with their middle-class public sector brethren). The rich will get richer.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” As middle-class workers, our best years may be behind us.
San Luis Obispo
Madalyn McDaniel’s letter uses half-truths and innuendo about the Paso Robles Groundwater Basin Resource Capacity Study to make a partisan attack on Supervisor Jim Patterson (“Close tabs on Patterson,” Feb. 27).
It is well known that the Walmart project in Atascadero is controversial. She irresponsibly exploits this and tries to stir up the public by insinuating that the county can stop the project and that I am part of the plot.
It is a matter of public record that the Planning Commission, including me, voted 5-0 to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the study that includes separating the Atascadero sub-basin from the larger Paso basin and classifying it as Level of Severity I.
Resulting policies set by the Board of Supervisors will apply only to the county, not to incorporated cities like Atascadero, and have no effect on Walmart. My separate motion, which asked the Board to re-evaluate separating the Atascadero sub-basin from the greater Paso basin, would have had no effect on Walmart either.
If McDaniel has questions about my work on the commission, she is welcome to contact me.
I hope she learns that positive interaction with government officials does much more to enhance our community than negative, misinformed, partisan attacks in the newspaper.
Daniel P. O’Grady
5th District County Planning Commissioner
A simple solution
In response to Don Bearden’s proposal to allow each person to include his or her own god in the Pledge of Allegiance (“Great melting pot,” Feb. 25): I propose a simpler solution. If someone does not want to say “under God,” just omit those two words when you come to them. It would be less confusing than hearing a multitude of names spoken and it would not offend anyone.
No one is required to say the pledge who doesn’t want to and are only asked to stand in respect to others around them. It’s hard to live in peace and harmony when some will not quit trying to make a big deal out of trivial issues.
Adrian M. Hurtado