Krugman makes sense about stimulus
Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman makes more good sense than all the other economic experts combined.
With a national unemployment rate of around 10 percent (or higher) for the foreseeable future, Krugman argued in his column Tuesday that we are still in a recession; therefore, the government should continue to stimulate the economy in order to create jobs. Interest payments on the national debt are projected to be only 3.5 percent of GDP --nothing to get hysterical about. After we have put people back to work, then we can begin reducing the budget deficit.
Furthermore, if you believe that whichever party has the majority in Congress (plus the presidency) should govern and be held accountable for its actions, then Krugman also is right that requiring a 60-vote super-majority to end filibusters and pass legislation is undemocratic and harmful to our country. Currently, one senator is blocking 70 presidential appointments, including anti-terrorism positions. This is outrageous. We don't need more government, but we do need a government that works.
ANTHONY J. DISTEFANO
The government and 'Christian values'
The Tea Party movement has brought into focus the chasm in American politics. On the political right, we have people who view the population as a collection of individuals, some competent and some incompetent, with the former footing the bill for the care and feeding of the latter. The philosophy of the political right exalts the rights of the (competent) individual while it strives to minimize the use of communal action, as represented by government programs. Not surprisingly, the right opposes tax-supported governmental social programs to aid the lazy and the incompetent.
Conversely, people on the left view society as a large community of people stationed on the same boat. They believe it is more effective to use collaborative measures to solve our common social and economic problems. The left believes that society as a whole is more important than any individual, and that it is reasonable for the community to address social and economic problems via targeted public programs supported by taxes. Alleviating the suffering of the less fortunate is viewed as a proper function of government.
It's ironic that those on the right are the ones who claim to be professing "Christian values." As I recall, Jesus favored helping the poor, the lame, the hungry, etc. If Christ could walk among us today, where do you suppose he would stand regarding social programs?
Cell phone limits are needed now
It is so unbelievably frustrating that our political officials are hesitant to pass a law that will limit the use of cell phones while driving. This should be a no-brainer. How many of us on I-20, I-26 or I-77 get run off the road or out of our lane on a weekly if not daily basis? Using cell phones while driving is not only a threat to the people on the road right now, but it's sending the wrong message to our up-and-coming drivers.
If someone on a motorcycle was texting while he/she was driving, almost everyone would be outraged. Why isn't it the same for those driving cars or buses that carry our children? We need to get angry and take action to safeguard ourselves, families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. It's just a matter of time before this becomes federal law and South Carolina will be forced to concede. Why wait? Let's start saving lives now. Please make all vehicles a cell phone free zone.
Susan Smith's effort to seek new trial
Susan Smith wants a new trial because she claims her rights were violated 15 years ago. What about her children's rights? She decided on her own that they would not have any rights. If she gets a new trial and is acquitted, we should just open the jail doors and let everyone go.
Pay attention to kids' increased media use
Two critically important facts in the latest Kaiser Family Foundation survey of young people's media habits should be a wake-up call to parents and educators.
First, the more time young people spend in front of the screens (TV, computer, video game), the poorer their performance at school. Second, their time spent with media and technology means less time reading books, newspapers and magazines.
We all need to think about the implications of this exposure and to develop effective strategies, both at home and at school, that make sense for students' emotional and intellectual development.
FRANK W. BAKER