Immigration bill may help private prison company
State Senate President David Williams wants to be governor. And bashing gays is so yesterday. I get it. But subjecting our Hispanic population to random inquisitions as to their legal status and to all the perils of racial profiling; alienating them from our police, thereby exposing them to increased crime risk; and most of all, giving them the message they are unwelcome among us, is all too big a price to pay for Williams' ambition.
Not that Williams alone is behind Senate Bill 6. I suspect the Corrections Corporation of America also has a deep interest in it. CCA was almost bankrupt in 1999. But locking up immigrants saved it. The millions it spent on lobbying paid off. CCA runs six detention centers in Arizona and three in Kentucky. It is good at hiding its tracks, but the lure of being employed to jail Kentucky's immigrants, while adding to the backlog of more serious immigration cases, must be tempting.
Williams' ambitions and CCA's corporate greed explain why we are fast-tracking SB 6. We have no pressing problem with our Hispanic residents. They bring substantial economic wealth with their labor and their taxes; they help make Kentucky a richer place culturally and spiritually.
I urge Kentuckians to resist the call of chauvinism that has too often stained our history. We don't need to demonize any group: blacks, gays or Hispanics. Tell our legislature to vote down SB 6. It's the right and moral thing to do.
Joseph G. Anthony
Fed hurting seniors
I accuse the Federal Reserve of premeditated murder — of murdering the financial security of the elderly. The Fed has reduced interest rates to the irreducible minimum.
It did so, it said, to stimulate the economy by encouraging people to buy homes with low interest rates, by encouraging homeowners to refinance their mortgages so they could spend the money they saved and by encouraging banks to lend money to small businesses so they could expand and employ more people, who in turn would spend the money they earned causing other businesses to flourish, necessitating the need to hire more people.
But, none of this has happened.
Keeping interest rates below sea level is not stimulating the economy. What it is doing is hurting the elderly, who count on the interest they earn on their dwindling savings accounts to survive. And when the principal is completely gone, the elderly will have no choice but to fade away into oblivion as did the horse and buggy and the choo-choo train.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke should give the elderly a reprieve and raise interest rates. He can count on the elderly to stimulate the economy. Give them higher interest rates on their savings accounts, and they will spend the money because they have to.
Our representatives need to come to the rescue of the elderly, who are constantly falling further and further behind the financial eight ball, by speaking up on their behalf.
Help local charities
Think local. The ending of a year, the beginning of a new year, is the time phone solicitations and phone solicitors gear up.
Think local. When you generously respond and open your checkbook, the charity named in the solicitors' spiel will be fortunate to receive half of your donation. Solicitors' percentages often range from 30 percent to 60 percent.
Think local. Make a donation to a local charity such as the Carnegie Center, the Lexington Public Safety Museum, the Hope Center, Catholic Action Center, etc. There are dozens of local charities that could and would utilize your donation to make necessary purchases of goods and services locally, providing a ripple effect.
Think local. Give to a local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop or to a shelter. I'm not asking you to ignore national charities, just that you also think local.
Ronald F. Balcom
Will ark take all?
The proposed Ark Encounter theme park has stirred controversy nationwide. Yet this is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to Noah. For Noah loved and protected all of God's creatures. He left none behind in the great flood. He included the largest animals, the least known, the obscure, even the exotic.
That's why I think the Ark people are onto something. Because if they want to be as loving and accepting as Noah was, perhaps they will include educational exhibits about all of the religions, right?
Just like Noah, they could include the well-known religions, the obscure, even those considered strange or foreign. If we are going to promise $37 million in tax incentives, we might as well include Hindus, Jews, Unitarians, Muslims, Native Americans, atheists and agnostics, among others.
We want to be inclusive like Noah, right?
Angela M. Arnett
So, if capitalism works:
Why did private roads fail and Henry Clay promote "the American system" of public investment in infrastructure?
Why did the South lose the war because of private schools and an illiterate populace?
Why did we live with rotary phones until Ma Bell was dissolved by our popular government?
Why did American Insurance Group and Lehman Brothers set back our economy 10 years and reduce retirement funds and hopes by half?
In fact, neither capitalism nor socialism has really been tried on a large, continental scale. Socialists succumb to greed, thus not sharing wealth. The result is economic stratification. Capitalists, embracing greed, become self-protective, eliminating competition and tending toward monopoly and tyranny.
Both systems spawn paranoid leadership. Indeed, there is no perfect system, nor perfect people.
Like it or not, government is necessary. We are the government, blemishes and all. And we can chart a moderate course between extremes allowing initiative while following the rule "with malice toward none, with charity for all."
Abortion policy hurt
The Jan. 3 article, "Immigrant policy hurting Japan," implied that Japan's decline in population since 2007 is due to restrictive immigration policy. Indeed, demographic projections for Japan are bleak, as noted, for the population will shrink by one-third by 2055; the number of people over 65 will be one-third of that total.
I suggest Japan's demographic problems are due more to its abortion policies than to immigration restriction. Liberalized abortion law was enacted in 1948; by 1955, more than 1.1 million abortions were being done, while about 1.7 million babies were being born. Almost one-half of Japanese babies were being aborted.
That number has shrunk in recent years, but only after the demographic future had been determined. Now, the death rate is greater than the birth rate. And the differential is growing, immutably.
It seems curious that the Japanese would have allowed this crisis to develop unchecked.
Paul David Nelson