Where are the jobs?
There is lots of static these days from conservatives claiming higher taxes for the very wealthy will kill jobs. The Republican candidates and conservative pundits all claim that the best way to encourage job growth is to allow the wealthy to keep their earnings, as the wealthy are the job creators.
Currently, the tax bracket for the wealthiest among us is as low as it has been for several years. So, if the wealthy have been enjoying a low tax bite, where are all the jobs their dollars should have been creating these past three years? The wealthiest have had it pretty good these past several years, but the job outlook remains grim.
With all that money remaining in the hands of the lucky few, why haven’t jobs emerged?
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It’s hard for me to accept that the economy will flourish under changed leadership without some increase in tax revenue. I agree that federal spending needs significant constricting. But without an even modest increase in taxes, I believe the economy, particularly the job outlook, will remain sluggish for some time to come.
Glenn T. Martin
Fact and fiction
Patti Launders’ letter (Oct. 20) is an example of why current political discourse is failing us: the inability to distinguish fact from fiction. Ms. Launders doesn’t appear to realize that “Atlas Shrugged” is not a documentary, but a fictional story. It portrays a view of the world that Ms. Launders finds appealing, and so it has become truth: “Job creators” are gods, and those who actually make, distribute and sell the products are lazy and don’t meaningfully produce anything.
Regular readers will remember another classic conservative literary work being recommended as a guide to economic policy: “Sim City 4” (letters, July 25). That writer referenced the computer game to speak against taxes. This is at the same level.
From that fictional perspective, the Occupy protesters can only be viewed as worthless. They couldn’t really be angry that the financial industry caused the economic collapse, got bailed out, took big bonuses and now complains about too much government regulation.
Maybe Ms. Launders should watch Fox News less and E! more. If she did, she’d know that several Kardashians (whom she criticizes) have become successful entrepreneurs. With fiction-based ideology, facts are discarded when they don’t fit the myth. If fiction is going to guide our policies, I’d rather be in Middle-earth. Frodo for president!
Not creating jobs
The letter about how Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” changed this individual’s life to be a confirmed “capitalist” (Oct. 20) reflects a total lack of knowledge about the symbiosis between workers and entrepreneurs. Many of today’s wealthy do not create jobs; instead, they are like vacuums sucking in all of the resources for themselves.
Yet, despite this recognized greed, corruption and illegal activity, no one from the “uber” elite financial class has had to suffer one iota.
Couple this with proposals of cuts in education, infrastructure and research and technology, plus the basic social safety net programs of Social Security and Medicare.
And still Congress wants to continue tax breaks for the wealthy at the expense of the majority and the national good.
The current sit-in at Wall Street is not being conducted by the leeches of society, as the writer has not so subtly implied. The movement is against unabated greed and the illegal activities that led to our financial mess and the loss of millions of jobs by hard-working members of our society. Are these the job creators the writer idolizes?
Where has compassion gone? Divisive blather in the letter overlooks the fact that these financiers do not create jobs — they cause job losses in the millions and have wreaked havoc on the entire global community.
Greed and corruption
A point about the Occupy movement and capitalism: Occupy is opposed to the “greed and corruption of the 1 percent.” It is the one thing that all groups coming together under the movement agree upon.
Capitalism and corporatism as they are currently exercised in this country are based on greed and corruption. The maximization of profits at the expense of workers, consumers, fellow citizens and this country itself, is greed. The manipulation of laws through the buying of politicians is corruption. This goes on every day in this country and is tearing the very fabric of this society apart.
To those who extol Ayn Rand and believe that capitalism produces innovation, you’re wrong. Capitalism exploits innovation. Ask yourself, for every new idea exploited by a corporation, how many have been suppressed or shelved because they posed a threat to profits from existing products? How much further advanced would we be if we didn’t have this system based on greed?
It’s for good reason that greed is one of the seven deadly sins. Instead of fighting the Occupy movement, let’s take this opportunity to really examine our economic and social policies. Maybe we can develop a new one based upon morals instead of sin.
I am overjoyed to hear that Atascadero High School plans to build a new science and math building on campus. This building will be an excellent addition to the school and puts much-needed emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math. Increased emphasis on these topics is important because our country isn’t training enough scientists, engineers, or entrepreneurs to fill the available high-tech jobs and create businesses to help give new jobs to Americans.
The good news is that Atascadero already has a well-established program that supports this goal. The Atascadero High School Robotics Team helps to develop a new generation of engineers and scientists with its valuable, hands-on training program. Students on the team learn and apply real-world skills. Unfortunately, in order for the new building to be constructed, the robotics team must lose its current home.
I hope that the community will support the inclusion of our robotics team into the new building because the team exemplifies science and math education. Atascadero High School would do well to follow the example of the award-winning Engineering Academy at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, which incorporates its robotics program as the senior capstone course.
With a designated place in the new building, the robotics team will continue to support Atascadero High School’s science and math goals.
This choice takes time
As every high school student has found out, getting into a four-year college is a competition and requires a huge chunk of change. In this day and age, going to college isn’t an option; it’s a necessity.
Unfortunately, students are being forced into the college system not knowing what they are going to do. Because of budget cuts in California, a lot of electives have been cut from high schools, and these electives help guide students into a path that is well-suited for them.
So what are students supposed to rely on to help choose the correct career path for them? Until our schools get funding for more elective classes, society shouldn’t be pushing them to go straight into a four-year college. Many students who jump straight into a four-year college without a career goal end up owing a lot of money after they graduate.
Society should let students take their time, find out what they really want to do and let them make the correct choice to living that lifestyle.
Golf tourney thanks
Big thanks to everyone who helped make the Big Brothers Big Sisters and Exchange Club of SLO golf tournament a huge success by raising more than $4,000 in support of youth mentoring.
Special thanks to Tournament Director Rick Cohen and the entire Exchange Club of SLO for their tireless enthusiasm in supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters and the children of our county. We also send a big thanks to our Eagle Sponsors — Founders Community Bank, Coastal Computers, Rabobank, Slime, Golfland Warehouse, ESPN Radio, New Times and Michelob Ultra.
Another big thanks to our volunteers, golfers and donors whose time and efforts give us the opportunity to continue providing long-term mentor relationships to the children of our community.
Development director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County
In his column (Oct. 21), Phil Dirkx mentioned two phone scams. Both of these involved people pretending to be family members of the intended scam victims. But I’d like to point out that scams come in many forms.
Recently, I was approached near a Morro Bay grocery store by a young man who claimed that he and his parents were homeless, stuck in Morro Bay and wanting to get enough gas to get them to the homeless shelter in San Luis Obispo. As I started to open my purse, I asked, “Where are your parents?” “Over there,” he said, pointing at a man and woman in the parking lot.
I recognized them as people whom I had seen standing in the same spot several times before. Was it taking them a week to get enough for a couple of gallons of gas? When I told him that, he just giggled and moved on. By the way, he was carrying a “prop,” a gas can, apparently brand new. Did he expect someone to fill it for him?
Homelessness is the malady of the decade, and we instinctively want to reach out and embrace these unfortunate people. But if they are truly homeless, let them deal with the agencies that are set up to give them true help.
The controlled substance act of 1970 with its Schedule I classification of the cannabis plant is factually incorrect. Marijuana does have medicinal value. The evidence is held in the U.S. patent office under patent #6630507. This patent is owned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, filed in 2001.
I think it’s absurd how the Obama administration and the DEA are going to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries that are our local, tax-paying businesses. We as Californians should not stand for such a violation. This is an assault on freedom and science. It’s a quintessential example of how dysfunctional and out of touch with its own people our government is.
I assume the government has put in countless man hours and spends quite a bit of money to bring down medical marijuana dispensaries. Maybe instead, they could put all the effort into what’s really important and in dire need of attention and resources: Social Security and Medicare.
Their fair share
As a lifelong Democrat, I agree with the Republicans on not raising taxes on the rich. However, as a lifelong Democrat with common sense, close all the loopholes (an action with which the Republicans don’t agree) and maybe then the rich will be paying their fair share.