Letters to the Editor September 14

Where is the deficit spending going?

Paul Krugman tells us "...don't fret about this year's deficit..." (quote from his Aug. 27 New York Times column). "We actually need to run up federal debt right now and...keep doing it until the economy is on a solid path to recovery...extra debt should be manageable. If a potential problem it's not because the economy can't handle the extra debt. Instead, it's the politics, stupid."

Krugman is said to be a "Keynesian." The above is Keynesian-style advice. Keynes advised President Franklin D. Roosevelt to spend our way out of recession or depression by funding useful make-work projects (like the Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, Timberline Lodge and many others, all done during the great depression.)

So, Paul, isn't it important to mention where the deficit spending is going? And could be going? Instead of giving us useful infrastructure, affordable education and health care, today's deficit spending is giving us wars for corporate sway, endless new "enemies" and bailouts for an ever-richer predatory class of corporate parasites, who have so much money they own our politicians.

C'mon Paul Krugman. You know better. Silence is complicity. Help us escape our corporate masters. Come out for HR 676 — single payer, not-for profit, greedless. We know your corporate job is at stake, but you don't need it that bad. And while we're at it, you too Barack Obama! It is the politics.

Louis Urban Kohler


Make Medicare available for all

To our Congressmen and Senators: Please make Medicare available to all who want it. It is the only way to fix the horrible mess that passes for health care in this country. Mandatory private insurance is not the way.

We should have the best medical system in the world, not one of the worst, as we do now. It should be based on quality care for all, not profits for a few corporations. As it is now, we pay the most, and get the least in return. The insurance companies will never provide quality care, because their goal is profit, not high quality health care.

Dean Silver


Guns as self-defense

Tom Dimitre's repetitious letters on shootings are as tiresome as they are distorted. Each lists several shootings. He gives no circumstances: They could be self-defense, accidents or even suicides. They are undated and could span years. Even if these errors were corrected, such selected anecdotes prove nothing.

The U.S. suffers around 80 gun deaths a day — about one-third murders, most of the rest accidents and the remainder suicides. Measured by murders per capita, South Africa, Colombia, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Costa Rica and Belarus are worse, and Uruguay and Lithuania usually have about the same rate as the U.S. Finland and Switzerland have more guns per capita and less gun crime than the U.S.

By comparison, how often are guns used in self-defense? Thirteen separate scientific surveys and analyses of police reports during the 1990s yield estimates varying from 700,000 to 2.2 million defensive gun incidents annually in the U.S. Using the smaller figure, defenders feared for their lives in 400,000 cases, about 40 times higher than the number of murders. Two or more attackers were involved in 53 percent of defensive gun incidents; 46 percent of the defenders were women attacked by men.

In the largest-ever study of American crime, Lott examined gun ownership, crime, arrests and convictions for each of the United States' 3,045 counties annually for 18 years. Assault, murder, rape and robbery are significantly lower in areas of the United States where permits for concealed firearms are obtained easily.

David Churchman


Stellar job, Keegan

Thank you for a fantastic interview with Keegan Wieczorek, the bright spark (see Sept. 9 Jr. Ashlanders article). What a stellar job he is doing — enterprise and caring for the community, all this from a 6-year-old. His parents and Ashland are obviously doing something very very right for him.

We send lots of love to Keegan, Boden and family from London, England.

Pyaar, Devi Maliha, Champak and Chetana Gokani Brasier

London, England

Water decisions

From the May 7, 2008 Ashland Daily Tidings "Council halts water connection to Medford" article: "An Ashland City Council majority voted not to fund design work on a pipeline project to bring Medford water to Ashland — a recommended option that would serve the growing population and provide an emergency supply in case of flood, wildfire or prolonged drought.

"Councilors Cate Hartzell, David Chapman and Alice Hardesty voted with Navickas not to fund the TAP design work. Councilors Russ Silbiger and Kate Jackson wanted to move forward on the project.

"Charges on new development in town would have paid for 75 percent of the project. The rest would have been paid for by increased water bills that would cost the average household another $1.50 per month.

"'Hopefully, we won't have an emergency or drought years and end up regretting this,' Silbiger said."

Yeah, hopefully...

Duane Murray


Fear for the country

"Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough, morality enough, to cut the chain of hate."

I do not know who said this. But when I hear and read the hatred and vitriol certain and many persons say about our president, because he is a black man, I fear for the United States of America. This is not what our country was founded on. Last week, I heard a man say, "I will not let my children hear the president's speech to the school children. I do not want one of them to be a community organizer."

Penny Beck


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