Benefits compensated for frozen wages
Dennis Patnaude notes in his recent letter: “Unions trade wages for benefits during negotiations — the rest of us are just told this is your pay, these are your benefits,” and he does not really see a difference. Probably everyone who is younger than I am has the same problem.
During World War II there was a pay freeze, resulting from the fact that there was a lot of war production needed and, as we girls and employers learned, the men were, as a popular song said, “Either too old or too young, either too gray or too grassy green,” because they were off using the material. To hold workers, health care was used as compensation which did not raise wages unlawfully.
Before that brilliant idea, everyone thought medical needs were a personal obligation and something rainy day savings was supposed to cover. Granted, there was less that it could accomplish.
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We cannot eliminate employers’ involvement in one legislative swipe, but we must move in that direction if we are to have real health care reform. The system must be simplified if we are to bring down the accelerating costs of the present inefficient way of doing things.
VIRGINIA MATTSON, Olympia
Filibuster rule, court ruling are wrong
I’m perturbed. I thought the United States has a Constitution declaring this nation is a democracy, not a monarchy. That is to say, ours is a government by the people in whose hands supreme power is vested; they alone own the right to establish a representative government that — in Abraham Lincoln’s cherished words — is of, by, and for the people.
In Lincoln’s day, the new Republican Party was the liberal body that took the government away from the conservative Democratic Party. Gone were some discriminatory laws, such as the perpetuation of the heinous crime of slavery. A remaining injustice, however, was the denial of women’s right to vote, not remedied until 1910 in our state, and 1920 nationally.
Yet, here we are with the Republican Party (whose name means “for the people”) doing all that it can to maintain a monarchal power in the U.S. Senate where one senator can block President Barack Obama’s nominees until, allegedly, there’s pork money for a redundant military base in his state of Alabama.
Additionally, the five Republican-nominated Supreme Court justices acceded to lobbyists’ claim that their client-corporations are “persons” free to buy huge favors benefiting their businesses. Isn’t that redefining corruption as a protected privilege?
From where I stand, that Supreme Court ruling, the required stranglehold of 60 Senate votes to adopt people-benefiting legislation, and the pouring of unrestricted amounts of money into the coffers of a city, state or elected officials violate both our pro-democracy Constitution and professed Democratic and Republican values.
ROBERT WALKER, Lacey
Reform doesn’t go far enough
Like many people, I don’t support President Barack Obama’s current health care plan and if asked about it in a poll, I’d say no.
The reason I don’t like it is not because it goes too far; it doesn’t go far enough. Without a public option it is not real health care reform. If we are forced to buy from the same insurance companies we have now, it will just cost us more.
I think there are many like me, and that allows some to say that we are against health care reform when we are not. A public option is an option, not a requirement.
DAVE JOHNSON, Tumwater
Onlookers cheer on suicide
I recently read about the tragic suicide of a 32-year-old man who jumped off a building in San Francisco with a crowd of onlookers cheering him to his death.
The troubled young man worked his way to the edge of the building three times before jumping.
I am saddened, shocked and disappointed that people were laughing as he leaped to his death and laughed as his body was covered after he was pronounced dead.
What has happened to us?
Are we so selfish and self-centered that seeing a tragedy such as this causes us to laugh, then walk on with our lives? This young man hesitated twice before jumping. What if the crowd had encouraged him to stop?
This man was at his lowest point in life, obviously feeling sad, hopeless and desperate only to have crowds of onlookers reaffirm his feelings of worthlessness.
Human life apparently is less important than those of their pets or the spotted owl.
KATHY LEWIS, Olympia
Americans don’t want single-payer
Despite what you might occasionally read in a letter to the editor in this paper, the American people do not want a single-payer health care system. Poll after poll shows that. A plan run by the government would be an absolute calamity.
As our government considers passing, through reconciliation or congressional gimmickry, a health care plan already rejected by the American people, they do it at their political peril.
The “we know better than you” mentality shared by many of our elected officials is just not going to wash this time. Congressional job approval numbers are at an all-time low, and should those in power decide to once again circumvent the will of the people, I think we will once again rise up and throw the bums out!
DAVID BELL, Olympia