In two years, Corbett's cuts and privatization have cost thousands of public employees their jobs. Now his plan to privatize the liquor sales will eliminate more family-sustaining jobs, converting them into low-wage, zero-benefit clerk jobs at Walmart.
Meanwhile, the promised education aid would amount to $250,000 a year in restricted funds. It will take four years to equal the $1 billion reduction for education in 2011 and 2012 - too little, too late to restore crucial programs and staff while Corbett's wealthy corporate contributors could cash in through privatization.
We can't afford to be divided. Taxpayers have to demand that publicly owned assets be preserved and strengthened, and their revenues used to underwrite better opportunities for all citizens.
Ted Kirsch, president, American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania
Caring, in any language
The Inquirer profile of Im Ja Choi and the Penn Asian Senior Services she founded shows how profoundly literacy and language barriers can impact the search for quality health care, especially for Alzheimer's and dementia patients' families ("Culturally considerate care," Jan. 21).
Im Ja Choi had a deep love for her mother, a desire to help other aging Asian adults, and the determination to fill this health-care void. The Independence Blue Cross Foundation is proud to support this unique effort, which provides compassionate and dignified care to one of our area's most vulnerable populations. Our region needs more health visionaries like Im Ja Choi.
Lorina Marshall-Blake, president, Independence Blue Cross Foundation
Can't afford flat-tax proposal
Michael Busler's proposal for a 12 percent tax on all revenues for individuals and corporations with no deductions effectively would be a sales tax that would hurt business, since the rate is greater than most corporate profits ("The 12% revenue solution," Jan. 29).
Jobs would vanish or go overseas. If passed on to consumers, it would cause significant inflation - which is an indirect tax on everyone. Could The Inquirer itself afford to pay such a tax on its circulation and advertising revenues, or raise subscriber and ad rates that much?
William Love Sr., Medford
Jobs can flow from utility work
Mark Zandi writes optimistically about the resurgence of the job market thanks to the upswing of such industries as housing and energy, but notes that thousands more jobs must be added to absorb new workers, as well as fill positions vacated by retiring Baby Boomers ("The country still needs jobs, but where will they come from?" Jan. 27).
The water industry projects a turnover rate of 30 percent over the next decade, caused by boomers retiring and increased investment. Investing in the nation's water infrastructure can achieve substantial gains in both the number of jobs and workers required to perform them. It creates good-paying jobs to make critical repairs and upgrades to our aging water systems - ensuring safe and reliable water, and attracting and retaining industry, business, and qualified workers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that 40,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion invested in water infrastructure. A study by the Economic Policy Institute suggests that water infrastructure expenditures could help create more than a million jobs over the next five years. With millions of Americans still unemployed, there is no better time to make our essential water infrastructure a top priority.
Kathy Pape, president, Pennsylvania American Water, Hershey
Christie's not always 'the boss'
Although Gov. Christie performed well handling the aftermath of Sandy and some education reforms, and, from time to time, he gets beyond partisan politics, he has failed in other ways.
Christie nixed the much-needed rail tunnel to New York City. He supported a new Atlantic City casino that may fail. Medical marijuana, now legal, is far from available statewide. And he's holding off on implementing key provisions of the federal health-care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.
Also, the way Christie has spoken to constituents and the teachers' union has been downright disrespectful and embarrassing. On Christie's watch, foreclosure rates have continued up, and we've seen minimal gains in job opportunities for college graduates. Even his bold post-Sandy statements have not made a difference for many who are still homeless at the Shore.
Lynda Hopkins, Cherry Hill
Moms, dads, look homeward
Michael Moroney fails to mention the real reason America is failing to educate its children - failing parents ("Offer more students options," Jan. 30).
More than half of parents don't care for their children in the literal sense. Their children are plopped in front of televisions when infants. Kids become addicted to being entertained by TV. Infants and preschoolers are never introduced to being read to, or reading, never introduced to learning from their parents. Their learning comes from the TV and, later, video games, and iPads.
When these children enter kindergarten, their teachers can't compete with the entertainment that the child has become accustomed to from TV and video games. So the children quickly become frustrated and are labeled learning-disabled.
To drive a car, you have to take a written and road test. To purchase a gun, you almost always need to complete an application. To get married, you need a license. Yet you can have children even if you prove to be irresponsible and uncaring.
Stan Duzy, Ocean City
Leave mind-reading to Kreskin
Charles Krauthammer is worth reading when he sticks with facts. When he interjects mind-reading, however, he is out on a limb ("Reagan's opposite," Jan. 28). Identifying President Obama's inaugural address as an "ode to collectivity," Krauthammer goes a step further, writing that Obama "means only government, not the myriad of voluntary associations - religious, cultural, charitable, artistic, advocacy, ad infinitum."
Who says? Obama certainly is more familiar with that list of voluntary associations than his 2012 presidential opponent, Mitt Romney. Krauthammer is welcome to persuade, but not mislead.
Ann Haslanger, Swarthmore