Letters to the Editor

Posted: September 01, 2012

Equal voices

I want to thank The Inquirer for running the excerpts from Betrayal of the American Dream by Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele. This is a very astute and honest presentation of what has been happening to the middle class in America and its message needs to be read and understood by all.

The series points out the legislative and judicial policies driving the middle class to extinction: Companies outsourcing jobs without penalties; public education funds being drained for the benefit of charter schools; allowing corporations to have the rights of individual citizens; blatant attempts to debilitate and drain the safety nets created to help Americans in times of crisis; and the lack of courage to fairly tax the governing elites.

We need an open democracy, with all Americans having an equal say, rather than participation based on how much wealth you can use to wield influence.

Joe Voicheck, Lansdale

An experience

The idea of Revel is to bring new people to Atlantic City, not make the existing market of the town happy ("As gamblers keep griping, add job lag to Revel woes," Sunday). The people who demand smoking, buffets, and low prices will never like the Revel experience.

I suggest you interview people who are in the target market of this type of a high-end resort. Thousands of Delaware Valley residents go to New York and enjoy "expensive" resort hotels and restaurants for the experience they offer. How about Nemacolin, The Lodge at Woodlock, The Greenbrier, the Hyatt Resort in Cambridge, Md.? These facilities all provide an exceptional experience to their clients and, to no one's surprise, they cost more than a night at the Trop.

An alternative story line might be that this is the chance to have a great entertainment experience, with beautiful rooms, wonderful pools overlooking the ocean, great first-class dining, and gambling, within a one-hour drive of Philadelphia.

Ken Laudenbach, Bala Cynwyd, drkwl@mac.com

Help from city

I don't mind paying taxes, as long as they are being spent wisely and for the greater good. They are part of my social contract with government. But I have to question why my tax dollars aren't keeping my neighborhood, Wynnefield Heights, clean.

Downtown has the Center City District and now there is a similar district for City Avenue, which is only a mile from us. But it seems that because we're residential and have few businesses, we're forgotten, even though we're nestled into one of the city's star attractions: Fairmount Park.

My neighbors and I buy equipment and monthly we tackle the area from Conshohocken Avenue to the dead end at Neill Drive/Falls Road. (We don't go as far as the train trestle near MLK Drive, another neglected area. We can do only so much.) We then contact the city for trash collection, which, thankfully, is done promptly.

But why must we continue to do the volunteer work that city workers are paid to do? It is time the city paid attention to this well-traveled, rutted, ignored road that winds its way through the park and stopped playing Blanche DuBois by relying on the kindness of strangers.

Cindy Dorfman, Philadelphia

Women's equality

The writer of "Get the GOP back in touch" (Sunday) made some reasonable points, but he should remember: More than half of the American population is female. He wrote about a need for initiatives that would "rebuild the middle class, with attention to boosting men's wages." Only men's wages need a boost?

I suppose the writer would prefer that women shut up and stay home. Get real. It is the 21st century and women are supposedly equal citizens. Unfortunately, some citizens are more "equal" than others, and a look at the GOP platform, as well as the views of many GOP candidates, shows further erosion of equality and freedom for females.

I hope that people think seriously about this when they make their choices on Election Day.

Jan Conradi, Pitman

The Rand factor

Everywhere I look there are stories on Ayn Rand and her influence on the economic views of Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. While this is an important question, the level of interest is curious given the comparable lack of attention paid four years ago to various influences on then-candidate Barack Obama. Why were Obama's social and economic views not subjected to similar scrutiny? In fact, those who looked into such questions were often dismissed as racists for even raising the issue. At least Ryan's views have the benefit of being worked out in more detail than vague, emotional appeals to hope and change.

Andy Horvath, Elverson, andyh2247@yahoo.com

Socialist views

In a recent talk, James Harris, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president, underscored the idea that all gains working people have made were won through struggle, not voting.

Movements for labor, civil rights, and women all won concessions from the people with power. However, the minute these gains become a reality, people with power work to reverse them.

Harris argued that working people don't need health-care insurance. What we need is the lifetime right to health care for everyone who lives here, including immigrant workers.

Harris argues that, ultimately, the only long-term answer for working people will be a workers' government. The fundamental problem of the capitalist system is that, while working people literally create all wealth, this wealth is controlled by a tiny minority of the population that is primarily concerned with profit.

A workers' government could begin to use the tremendous wealth in this country to eliminate poverty, discrimination, the destruction of the environment, and alienation.

Steven Halpern, Philadelphia, hnbpjs@gmail.com

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