We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.
Tattoo shops stick the consumer
A recent news article suggested that local tattoo parlor owners are seeking to be regulated by the government. Are the tattoo parlors who seek this regulation confessing to being out of control and merely saying to government: “Stop us before we hurt somebody?” Very doubtful. More likely they are saying “let’s get some government agency to write rules that will let us operate the way we want to and keep other competing tattoo parlors out of the business so we can keep our prices up.” That is, they are trying to stick the consumer figuratively in addition to sticking them literally.
Uninsured numbers inflated
Recently the headlines blared 46 million Americans have no health insurance. Should you take the time to dig a bit, you will find 10 million of those were illegal immigrants. Now the number is down to 36 million. Of the remainder, 18 million made $50,000 or more annually and half of them made more than $75,000. They can’t afford health insurance? So now we have 18 million. Another 10 million did not work even a single week during that year. Why are they not on Medicaid, a program designed for people with income below the poverty level? We’re down to 8 million. There were 9 million between the ages of 18 and 25. How many are in collage and how many have just opted out of employee health programs? Looking at the numbers makes you think about the headline. At least I hope so.
Decades Theme Park
Saving our gas
We need this in Arizona. I am tired of having to go to Castles ’n’ Coasters, or California or Texas, for my theme-park experience.
Romney’s faith not an issue
What is the big deal about Mitt Romney’s faith? Why should he have to explain his faith anymore than anyone else should have to explain their faith? Is he so squeaky clean people can’t find anything else wrong with him, so they have to pick on his faith? After all, he is not running for bishop, or pope, or any head of any religious organization. He is running for the President of the United States.
Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has been on the political scene since he was a young man, with both parents interested in politics, his father, as governor of Michigan, running for president and his mother making bid for a Senate seat. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which his whole family are members, is one of the fastest growing churches in the world. Have we become a society of bigots against faith now?
Barbara J. Lemoreaux
Try only ballots by mail
We arrived in the Valley from our Grant County, Wash., home recently, and heard what a small percentage of the voters have actually voted. Some had reasonable reasons, like job, emergencies, etc.
At home, we receive our ballots by mail and have a couple of weeks to study the issues, make decisions and get them mailed back in to be counted. That way, people don’t have some of these reasons and it is so much easier to do our duties as citizens.
Why high schools pay more
I am undecided as to whether or not it is a good idea to unify some Arizona school districts. I am quite sure, however, that the commission considering it is not up to the task. Martin Shultz, chairman of the state commission, states that it “offends [him] to think that salar[ies] for elementary teachers are … different from those of high school teachers, as if to suggest that a high school teacher is more valuable, which is not the case.”
Shultz is correct that high school teachers do not have a higher human or moral value than elementary teachers, but to translate that into a statement of relative economic value is foolish. Their educational qualifications are not the same, and their positions are not at all equally easy to fill. Market economies don’t mix well with arbitrary idealism, and this way of thinking is poised to wreak havoc on our public schools.
A typical high school teacher has all of the same education as an elementary teacher, plus a college degree in the subject he or she teaches. Under the requirements of federal law, high school teachers are expected to be “highly qualified” in any subject that they teach.
In addition, many high school teachers have degrees that give them employment options in the private sector. This is especially true of math and science teachers, making these teachers the hardest to find in a high-technology modern economy in which we need them more than ever. It is much easier to find a good third grade teacher than it is to find a good physics teacher (or any physics teacher).
Clearly, what Shultz and many others need is a proper grounding in market economics. He can come take my class if he wants me to fill him in on the basics.
Schemes cheat average workers
Some time ago I wrote a letter to the editor about the reported extravagant business successes of the Blackstone Group (and other New York firms). The owners made a fortune brokering business deals that took public companies private after first stripping out the unprofitable aspects (by some standard) of the company.
Now just months later, the business climate that supported the many massive revenue-generating schemes of sharp businessmen like these is in ruins. Be certain that their fortunes are intact, safely invested in new ventures and off-shore accounts — secure/guaranteed financial “instruments.” All the business plans that create white hot cash flows are very complicated and supported with stacks of business documents and legal briefs; the concept can be simplified with the comparison to the mechanical process of operating a hydroelectric power station without monitoring the level of water in the reservoir driving the high-speed turbines. Lights go off when the magnetic field collapses in the generators producing electricity that must wind down for the lack of a prime mover. Ordinary people and their monthly payments for housing and the costs of living are that prime mover.
Embracing exciting boom-and-bust business schemes as a means of generating wealth in the American economy is remarkably short-sighted when the lives and financial stability of tens of millions of people are at stake. The designers and earliest disciples of every scheme take immense wealth from the economy without a thought of the damage to and subsequent fallout within the social fabric of ordinary folks who, in their daily living, make up that economy.
Spend your hard-earned money wisely and be very careful around the many polished, well-heeled marketing schemes designed to separate you from each dollar.
Seek correct path to salvation
Letter writer Warren Bodine expressed concisely his feelings and at the same time echoed the church’s position on this issue (“Don’t ask church to change,” Nov. 18). This was exactly the point that I was trying to articulate to my adult children as we discussed Robert Parker’s original column around our kitchen table.
Unfortunately, Parker seems to feels that he has an organic condition that he can not, or should not have to, do anything about to change or control its expression. He seems to feels somehow justified or empowered to unleash it, in its full expression, without regard to himself, his wife, his family, his church or even his heavenly father and his savior. If Parker understood who he is as a child of God, as well as the restored gospel, the Scriptures, the savior and/or atonement, he would know that the “natural man” is an enemy to God and always will be until he is changed by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Parker has a responsibility to himself and to all of those mentioned to make a place in his life that the Holy Ghost may come and dwell with him and do its mighty work.
Parker should be grateful he has a group of real Christians in his ward family that, in the true spirit of Christ, are willing to accept him with the cross that is his to bear. Best wishes, Robert Parker.