Can't close income gap without responsibility
I originally started this letter in response to the Nov. 6 Herald-Leader editorial, "Income inequality hurts nation." As our president and your paper continue to focus so much on the income inequality and so little on solutions that matter at the ground level, I decided to finish what I started.
Where do you see income equality that translates into true national prosperity? Do you actually think people will continue working hard at their jobs if all they are doing is sharing their paycheck?
You state accurately that the energy of our economy and our culture arise from this belief in upward mobility and that we become a very different nation if we give that up.
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You also are dead on in that this is what's at stake in the debates in Washington. While tax reform and closing loopholes and cutting spending and waste are all on the table, nobody seems to want to address the disaster that entitlement programs have left in their wake.
To move upward, that implies action on the part of the individual involved. Just moving the money around and making the "rich" pay more will not fix anything unless more is expected of all people.
It is time to truly show our belief that those less fortunate in this country can actually be upwardly mobile by giving them the tools, helping them for a designated time period, and then telling them the same thing my parents told me — that they are responsible for themselves.
Stanton L. Cole
Littering out of hand
At around 3 p.m. Feb. 16 I was driving along Midland Avenue next to the Herald-Leader. Someone in a white pickup directly in front of me threw a large plastic cup out of their window and drove on.
What really angered me was that this particular litterbug was driving a government vehicle with a license plate that said: "Official." Is this official littering? Was this litterbug "Kentucky proud?"
If I were a police officer, would it have been OK to give this person a ticket? I certainly would hope so.
I have always detested littering. Look around the streets and roads of Lexington. Litter is everywhere.
It's disgusting to see trash all over the ground in Kentucky and most people don't seem to care. Come on, people, please don't litter.
Moses Edward Naedele
We need a Havel
In a recent essay on the late Vaclav Havel, the writer noted those qualities he possessed that brought Czechoslovakia back from an uncivil society that had managed to strip people of their dignity by humiliating them "in a thousand little ways."
It is dismaying to watch the present GOP contenders attempt the same strategy against their opponents.
Some find it amusing, even entertaining. It is not. It corrupts our political system as we have seen it played out in our own Congress.
Havel's civility with even his most vicious opponent was a civility that helped to restore his nation's dignity. The writer states that "it was through thousands of such small acts, that he brought his society closer to healing."
Would that the spirit of such a great man existed in our own Congress.
Havel was one of Abraham Lincoln's "better angels" whose nature our own political culture has need of now.
Stewards of the land
We are continually provided evidence that many natural gas, coal, nuclear power and oil producers don't care about the messes they leave behind.
Is it so horrible to believe we have a right to clean water and air?
Rick Santorum has said he would promote "responsible environmental stewardship." A steward is a person who manages another's property. The property in question are the lands of the United Slates.
"Drill, baby, drill' is not responsible. There are costs associated with drilling. One only needs to look back less than two years ago.
The damage done to the Gulf in immediate terms equals tens of billions of dollars. The damage that was done that will take time for us to assess is what happens to the food that we are so dependent upon. Are we going to be ingesting food that is safe? What about the wildlife that has been affected? All of these things work together.
There are far too many questions about the effects of fracking to just go ahead and say "whatever, we'll clean it up later."
Responsible environmental stewardship are not just words that can be said and forgotten. There is a connection between our survival as humans and the earth. Maybe not today. Maybe not even tomorrow, but in time if we don't start thinking about these connections we will destroy ourselves.