Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Letters to an editor

Ah, the (supposedly) well-intentioned letters folks send to newspapers...I feel the need to write responses for at least a couple of these.

First, the gun safety idea. Yeah, it may seem like a good idea to lock up guns, right up until you need to defend the safety of those precious children. Suddenly, every second counts and you can't get the safe open. Also, keeping kids from learning about guns isn't the appropriate way to protect them. Educate them, don't hide the guns. If you convince your children to respect the gun, use it safely, and not play with it, you'll have far fewer problems than you will if little Johnny finds you left the key to the gunsafe out.

A raise below the rate of inflation? Oh, wait, you're not thankful for the raise...I guess private sector work has just spoiled me. I never expect a raise unless I earn it. If you really think the state should up wages, let's cut out some of the extra workers. After all, lower numbers of employees will free up the cash to give you better wages. Also, next time you complain about wanting better health and retirement benefits, look at what state workers get. It's a lot better than those working in most private sector industries. If you find somewhere you can do better, do us all a favor and just take the job. It'll save the state some money.

Same sort of thing with teachers. You work nine months a year, get great health and retirement packages, and are really hard to fire. You only get about half your annual salary each year after you retire? That's a HUGE retirement. Try opening a 401(k) or something if you want more. And please don't tell me that salary increases need to be made across the board. Performance pay will single out a small portion? Well, let's see some performance from the others, then. "Finally, continue to be mindful that a teacher instills in our children that each one is special and gifted." At least you realize no one's educating them these days. And far too many need to get a LOT less of this special and gifted crap. They start thinking the world revolves around them, and it screws 'em up.

As for coal, I do have to say that I'd prefer nuclear power. It's efficient and clean, and all the crap about nuclear meltdowns is exaggerated propoganda. But the letter is otherwise fairly dead-on.

The tax reform is by no means regressive. A sales tax merely taxes consumption. The wealthy tend to consume a lot more than the poor. Taxing property often hits poor retirees, since they find that they have run out of easily liquidated assets and the property values have gone up. Which is more regressive?

1 comment:

James Aach said...

You might find this an interesting look at nuclear power from the inside: a thriller novel by a longtime nuke industry worker, available at no cost to readers on the internet (they seem to like it) or in paperback at online retailers. Nuclear is a wacky business and a lot different that what its proponents and opponents often think. RadDecision.blogspot.com