More Production, Please
In his City Beat column ("Pay for Nonperformance," January 8th issue), John Branston concisely demonstrated the roots of our current economic dilemma: the incredible disparity in economic rewards between those in charge of our financial and corporate institutions and those who do the actual day-to-day work.
The country desperately needs to dump the "selling worthless paper for increasingly inflated prices" mindset that got us into this mess and get back to creating products with real-world value. Remember "manufacturing" — the bedrock of any good economy? The only way out of this fiasco is to start producing tangible goods at competitive prices again.
More Jobs, Please
The incoming administration and Congress are developing an economic stimulus plan of about $800 billion, which is supposed to create approximately 3 million jobs (Editor's note, January 8th issue). The jobs will evolve from projects designed to rebuild and replace our roadways, bridges, dams, and possibly runways. Schools will be upgraded. There could be substantial funding of energy projects, which will hopefully reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
We need quick turnaround projects ready to be implemented within 90 days of funding. Unfortunately, about $300 billion of the $800 billion economic plan will go to tax cuts for individuals ($200 billion) and businesses ($100 billion) and not create jobs. The tax rebates parceled out in the spring of 2008 did not stimulate the economy, because $66 billion of the $78 billion in rebates went into savings accounts or were used to pay down debts. Businesses might use the tax cuts to pay down debt and buy back stock.
The incoming administration should not put the $300 billion into tax cuts but should use the entire $800 billion to create good-paying U.S. jobs, while improving our infrastructure, upgrading school resources, promoting alternative energy programs, increasing domestic oil production, and reducing the importation of foreign oil.
Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Don't Forget Huey's
While we always enjoy your paper and mostly your local articles, in John Branston's December 18th story ("Midtown's Next Big Thing"), one very important institution was not mentioned.
Huey's restaurant has been an influential and enjoyable fixture in Midtown since the early '70s. The Flyer's Best of Memphis polls have voted the "Huey Burger" the best in Memphis for many years. And it's the most kid-friendly place in town.
The Commercial Appeal recently published an article about Chimneyrock Elementary school, which is in an area annexed by Memphis, despite the nearly unanimous opposition of its residents. (Progressive supporters of "democracy rights" for Palestinians, felons, illegal immigrants, and others, please note.)
Memphis officials stood in a supposed court of law and swore that they could and would provide full city services to the people they were annexing. A judge who knew this was a farce agreed. And there went the rights of thousands of citizens to determine who governed and taxed them.
After spending many millions of dollars on unecessary, half-empty schools and a corrupt catering division, Memphis not only can't build the promised new K-8 school that this part of the city direly needs, they cannot even take over Chimneyrock for several more years.
Will the last one out of Memphis please turn off the lights?
Herbert E. Kook Jr.
After eight long years of the "war president," it is time for visions of peace; time to visualize a world free of anger, war, and hate.
Peace is a state of mind, though without personal transformation the people of the world will forever be locked in conflict. If we foster community health, innovation, self-discovery, and spiritual purpose, we are well on the way to creating peace.
War is unthinkable in a society of people who have discovered the connectedness of all humanity. Peace is a change of heart, everyone trusting, sharing, and caring for each other. As peace settles on earth, the hungry will be fed and all people will live together in harmony.
Nevada City, California
Which leads me to put on my Dr. Phil face and say what has to be said: It's time for Memphis and Shelby County to start seeing other people. We've tried for years to patch things up, to come to some sort of mutual understanding, but we need to admit that we have irreconcilable differences. We don't even know each other any more ...