Letters to editor: Feb. 11

February 11, 2014 

  • New election-year rules

    Letters about candidates in 2014 political races are limited to 150 words. No commentary from candidates will be published. Candidates may respond, every 30 days, in 250-word letters to editorials, news articles and columns in which they are the primary focus.

Minimum-wage increase would destroy jobs

I am writing to voice my disapproval of any increase in the minimum wage. From my studies in economics and daily operations of a small business, I can almost forecast the results:

First, inflation. Someone has to pay for the salaries, employee and employer taxes, unemployment tax and workers' compensation.

Second, once the additional costs work their way through the economy and the resulting inflation occurs, the minimum-wage workers are right back where they started. Most estimates I have heard are around two years. So what's the point?

Minimum-wage jobs are not intended to totally sustain a family. Workers do not have to accept minimum-wage jobs. Although I do not endorse this, but given today's entitlement system, there seems to be a good living to be made by not working.

Of course, increasing the cost of labor can run small businesses out of business and force larger ones to cut employees. This would come at a time when those businesses that have been providing health care have seen these costs skyrocket under the Affordable Care Act.

Why are we making it more and more difficult to create jobs, instead of helping businesses with lower thresholds to job creation? It may not be the job of your dreams, but it's income, it's a start, and it's a step in the right direction.

Richard Bendure


'Patriot' uninformed

A Jan. 25 letter railed about an unnamed "oppressive governmental agency," decried an assault on "foundations of ... faith" asking rather irrelevantly, "Doesn't our Bill of Rights guarantee ... life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?"

The answer is, "No. That document says no such thing."

The phrase is from the Declaration of Independence, a philosophical document, not a legal one, such as the Constitution, which was written more than a decade later, the first 10 amendments to which is our Bill of Rights.

Rather, the First Amendment guarantees among other things, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ... "

I think it instructive that the prohibition on an establishment of religion is the first thing in the amendment. It permits one the freedom to practice any religion, while allowing the rest to be free of an imposition of the beliefs of others into our daily lives. In other words, it allows you freedom of religion, while protecting my freedom from religion.

The founders knew that the imposition of a state-sanctioned faith was the most oppressive force in history and could only violate the conscience of all.

It is unfortunate that those who style themselves patriots are unable to distinguish one of our important founding documents from another, let alone grasp the significance of their meanings.

Michael J. Massey


Young for Congress

Geoff Young, running for Congress from Kentucky's Sixth District, is such a committed voice.

Some voters are concerned that corporate interests will drown out environmental concerns. Young speaks for us, and we'd love to be heard, through him, in our state debates.

Some voters are concerned that the voice of possible peace keeps getting drowned out by voices of anger and the military-industrial complex. Young speaks for us.

Some voters are concerned corporations can ignore safety concerns of our coal workers and avoid accountability. Young would speak for them.

On Jan. 24, a short article reported that Elizabeth Jensen was Rep. Andy Barr's "closest Democratic challenger." No poll results were cited, and it was not even mentioned that Young is running.

I'd love to think that Young can be elected. But, regardless, I'm clear that he can shift the debate — if our free and fair press will include his voice.

Doug Ivison


Thomas disappoints

In December, our district elected a new senator, Reginald Thomas. No big deal, a Democrat for a Democrat.

But we wondered what his priorities would be. Education? Maybe jobs. Or the problem with our homeless. But no, in one of his first floor speeches, he complained about a few people who are not happy with a law that allows ripping babies out of mothers' wombs.

I'm sorry. We didn't know. He sounded OK. It will be several years before we can elect somebody else. Thomas can be thankful that his mother didn't exercise her "constitutional right."

Dave Gravatte


Wake up, Cats

One of the problems with this year's Cats basketball team starts with the introduction of the players. The lights go out, the searchlights come on, 24,000 people begin a rhythmic clap, the video screens show past highlights and fireworks go off. Rupp Arena is in a frenzy. Then the players are introduced and they walk out on the floor like they just got out of bed.

Remember when DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall were here? Wasn't Josh Harrellson the designated chest-bumper?

Each player came out of his seat with enthusiasm that matched the moment. They were ready to play. This year's team is often behind before the lights come on.

Joseph Kyle


Clear the air, Kentucky

I am a longtime Republican conservative and business owner in Illinois. I can vouch to everyone in Kentucky that our 6-year-old statewide smoking law has been good for health and for business.

Recent polls show that more than 86 percent of Illinois residents now support the comprehensive smoking ban, including a majority of smokers. The smoking law is also strongly backed in the state legislature by both political parties.

Congratulations to the great state of Kentucky for moving ahead to consider enacting secondhand smoke protections statewide.

Bill Kerschner

Rockford, Ill.

Mommy scams

Sen. Rand Paul has a great idea to cut money to the unmarried who have more than two children. After having the second child surely the woman knows how it happened. Money for having more children is the family business. It is a scam.

I knew a woman who had a job at International Harvester where the retirement was great. They even covered eyes and teeth. She walked in one day and said she was quitting, and all were amazed and asked her why.

Her reply was, "I can make more money without working by staying home and having children."

Isn't this a sad case as those children do not get parenting except for a small percentage? Moms get their hair and nails done and that takes a whole lot of money, not for food or anything else.

Maggie Wise

Ocala, Fla.

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