Inequality shifts from race, gender to income gap
Race and gender were the major inequality issues for the American public and the government in the 20th century.
Present-day obscene wealth inequality and corporate greed are the corresponding issues for the 21st century — but where is the public and the government on this?
In an Oct. 6 essay on the Commentary page, George Will claimed "government serves best by getting out of the way."
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This is risible, as well as patently false, given the results of our last decade of financial deregulation. We can no longer wait for our dysfunctional national government to provide a remedy for our plight.
Support the Occupy Wall Street movement, and get the word out that the American public does not in any way accept our massive and growing economic inequality.
Visit Occupy Lexington, attend a general assembly meeting, or at least honk and give them thumbs up as you drive by. Here we have a start on the public response.
Thomas A. Boyd
Tell the whole story
Having had a close relative serving as an editor of a large metropolitan newspaper, I am aware news stories from wire services are often cut for lack of space.
However, I cannot express my dismay about how much was cut from "Republican debate turns contentious" featured on page A9, Oct. 19, of the Herald-Leader.
An advantage the daily paper has over television is that it is possible to go back and reread news reports. If the telephone or doorbell rings, with television all is lost of that portion of the program, but a newspaper is still available after any interruptions to be read and remains informative.
In the Lexington paper, four candidates were pictured, one of whom (Ron Paul) was not quoted, with five of the seven quoted, leaving one candidate completely ignored — Newt Gingrich — who made a very astute remark that received widespread applause from the audience.
It was such a penetrating observation that, to be truthful, I was surprised that it had not been expressed by one of the other candidates.
There seems to be more than enough space for anything having to do with sports. I love University of Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky University sports, but I also want to be more aware of the national and international news.
Sports affects my emotions, but national news affects my life.
This coming election is going to be very important, and the public is depending on the news media to give us all the facts, without bias.
Many registered voters of both parties consider themselves to be independent thinkers. If they are, why not register as independent voters?
Because Kentucky law states that only voters registered to a recognized political party can vote in primary elections, and they can vote only for the nominees on their party's slate.
There are thinking voters who would like to split their ballots. They feel that would better represent their political thinking.
I feel the laws ruling how primary elections are "controlled" should be changed. Registered independent voters should not be disenfranchised during primary elections.
The president flabbergasts me. He claimed to be a different kind of leader, to be post-partisan, the hope and change we were waiting for.
Yet, in Appalachia, all I see are actions of his Environmental Protection Agency — actions that ignore reality in favor of partisan politics. Actions that will destroy jobs and portions of our energy supply; hurt family, state and business budgets; and cripple our economy and nation.
If the president can't honor his campaign claims, he ought to at least care about people, their ability to make a living, and our struggling economy. It is time to rein in the EPA, Mr. President.
EPA a drag on jobs
The current administration in Washington certainly has been spending a lot of time lately talking about jobs. Unfortunately, it seems like that is all it is doing — talking. For while the job talk goes on and on, actual jobs are being lost.
It's pretty simple — as long as this administration allows the Environmental Protection Agency to do whatever it wants — without any consideration for people's livelihoods, the economy or even science — jobs, our economy and even the administration's integrity will be destroyed.
It is time for the administration to stop the EPA before it drags our country back to the Dark Ages.
How much more regulation is the coal industry going to take before it fights back? The federal government is going to make it so expensive to mine coal that we will be able to import it cheaper.
Imagine owning a business and having inspectors stay with you three or four days a week, watching everything you and your employees did and stopping you for an hour to give you a safety meeting. Then going through your place of business and looking for dents in cans or floors that aren't clean.
Then imagine them writing a violation and sending you a bill for $20,000 for nitpicking violations.
Now you get a picture of what it's like in the everyday lives of coal operators and miners.
I am all for safety, but the regulators have gotten out of hand. You have state inspectors coming in one day and checking all of your equipment and holding up production to check each individual piece, then the very next day, you might have a federal inspector do the exact same.
What if the government tells you that you have to buy a new type of freezer that costs $100,000 or you will have to shut down? That is going on in the coal industry every day. Every underground coal company has to buy about $500,000 worth of additional safety equipment because of a couple of disasters.
No other industry is subjected to such ridiculous regulations.
Mark E. Daugherty
Health care liberty
We hear a lot of talk from politicians nowadays about freedom from government and taxes. This sounds patriotic to some folks. If only they knew more about our history and democratic traditions.
Most historians believe the framers of our U.S. Constitution addressed three aspects of freedom. These are freedom from "despotic government" (i.e., our system of checks and balances), freedom from "the tyranny of the majority" (i.e., freedom of religion and our rights to due process) and "public liberty" or freedom to participate in self-governance (i.e., voting rights, free speech, free assembly and free press).
These aspects of freedom are obviously ignored by politicians who mischaracterize the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as government oppression. That's pretty ironic because most of these critics have previously supported the techniques and procedures in the act. They used to call it insurance regulation.
In terms of our history and democratic tradition, health care reform is about public liberty. It would enable more of our citizens to participate in self-governance in good health.