Michael Tearson, Westmont, firstname.lastname@example.org
Profits mean more than jobs
When a very large corporation hired me for my first job in 1970, my recruiter bragged that it didn't lay off a single employee during the Depression. Even during the early 1980s recession, there were no layoffs. Corporations accepted lower profits and did their part to help. That's when corporations cared about their employees, and their country. But things have changed.
This time, the large corporations used the recession as an excuse to downsize, outsource, cut benefits, and weaken unions. Even after their stock prices and profits rebounded, they have continued these practices. Most of these jobs will never come back, no matter how strong the economy gets. Only the smaller companies seem to be hiring, and they were the ones, like my present employer, that avoided layoffs,until they had no other choice.
I would prefer to see the large corporations step up and return to their old patriotic ways, but if they won't help, then we need the government to intervene with a jobs program. People have short memories, but if you look back to when we were in danger of slipping into a depression, and see how far we have come in three years, it is truly amazing.
Larry Momorella, Warminster
Meehan should back tax credit
For the thousands of unemployed across Pennsylvania, hearing that a congressman might not vote to continue a job-stimulating tax credit should make their blood boil. Especially when it would also support Pennsylvania's growing wind industry. The wind industry supports 3,000 to 4,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, and 75,000 nationwide.
Rep. Pat Meehan's (R., Pa) website says, "I firmly believe that growing our economy through investment in affordable energy and protecting our environment and citizens are compatible goals." This is commendable, and means it should be an easy call for Meehan to support the federal Production Tax Credit, which helps fund wind projects in Pennsylvania. The credit is about to expire, and with it tens of thousands of jobs nationwide as employers scale back.
Keith Barnaby, Chester Springs
City can't afford papal visit
I understand that Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit Philadelphia in 2015. To be blunt, your holiness, we just can't afford it. The Philadelphia Archdiocese has spent so much money on lawsuits concerning "boundary" issues, it has no money to entertain you. If there is any money left, I urge the hierarchy to lower the cost of tuition for students in parochial schools.
In addition, the city of Philadelphia is broke. It cannot afford to provide the security needed for a papal visit. Maybe he should consider some kind of Skype event.
Nancy Mortimer O'Brien, Lafayette Hill, email@example.com
U.S. not always the good guy
I agree completely with Stephen M. Walt's commentary Wednesday, "Sometimes they hate us for good reasons."
Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas), who ran unsuccessfully for this year's Republican presidential nomination, has been pilloried for saying much the same thing for many years.
Patrick Barron, West Chester, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bike riders must obey laws, too
I witnessed a cyclist being hit by a car at 23rd and Locust Streets one morning last week. The cyclist and his bike remarkably survived, and the driver stopped. I saw the accident because I was stopped at the traffic light where the cyclist was also supposed to stop. I and my sons ride all over the city, so I am definitely pro-bicycle. But just as we plead with drivers not to text, cyclists, please stop at red lights!
Gordon Henderson, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Humans affect global warming
In response to Wednesday's letter "Left fighting a ‘war on carbon'," which accuses "environmental bullies" of waging war on natural gas, coal, and carbon, it should be noted that every major, reputable scientific institution, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the National Academy of Sciences, agrees that the Earth is warming rapidly and that human activity (carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas) plays a significant role in that, with some fossil fuels emitting more CO2 than others.
From driving our cars to burning fossil fuels to heat our homes, we are causing the release of CO2, which traps heat and warms the planet. The evidence for such warming can be found in melting glaciers (virtually everywhere), warming ocean temperatures, rising sea levels, chemical evidence, impacts on human health, and more.
The Environmental Protection Agency is required under the Clean Air Act to set new standards for the emission of CO2 to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, which it is trying to do, and we can only hope that polluters and their friends in Congress (the real bullies) don't block implementation. In the meantime, across the globe, many countries are jockeying to take a leadership role in clean energy investments.
Elaine Hughes, Ambler
Deserve to die in dignity
In reference to "A shattered spirit" in last Sunday's Currents: As I hear my 100-year-old mother breathe her last gasps of air after having her feeding tube removed, I have to ask society why is it that worthless serial killers have an easier way out of this life than my wonderful mother? If anyone suggested that cold-blooded killers be locked in a room with no food and water until they died, the "state" would be deemed guilty of unusual punishment. Yet when it comes to those who have lived exemplary lives, that can be their fate. Hopefully a merciful God will end my mother's suffering soon. God may forgive those elected officials who jailed someone like Dr. Jack Kevorkian and continue to allow this nightmarish scenario to repeat millions of times a year in this "civilized" nation. But unlike God, I will lobby to see that no patient will have fewer rights to die humanely than a worthless piece-of-garbage mass murderer.
Joseph DuPont, Towanda