I would like to respond to Russell Talbott's letter of Dec. 11.
Mr. Talbott states the reason labor wages have not raised is because production expenses have increased. No doubt they have. Production costs are, however, at the bottom or near to it as to why wages are static.
My father was a truck driver all of his adult life. He retired at 55. He married, bought a house and had four boys. My mother stayed home as a housewife until I, the youngest, was in second grade.
I have been a truck driver going on 20 years now and am essentially on the bottom of the lower class. I say that because I don't want to admit to myself that I'm barely getting by financially and am probably more in the upper poverty level.
A documentary, aired on television in 2009 about American business and economics, explained three primary changes that have taken place since 1976.
One change is that in 1976, for each dollar an employee earned, the employer made $40. In 2007, for each dollar an employee earned, the employer made $300.
The second change is in price structuring. Back east where I grew up, businesses doubled the middle-man's price to set a retail price for products. Now, prices are set by what the market can bear. Really. The philosophy is you need it, I have it, and how much money do you have.
The third change was that entrepreneurs once went into business as a chosen way of making a living. In the last two or three decades, the motivation became to amass wealth.
The documentary answered the question of how two parallel careers have resulted in two vastly different ends.
It should be clear by now the biggest threat to this country is avarice.
"Stay paid up and prayed up," Mr. Talbott wrote. Staying paid up is becoming ever more difficult because of the ones I stay prayed up for, the ones who put themselves and the fevered pursuit of wealth before all things.
George T. McConnell
I am very disappointed to learn that the majority of Garfield County commissioners voted to delete Planned Parenthood of Glenwood Springs from next year's human services grants. In fact, Planned Parenthood is the only organization recommended by the county's Human Services Commission that was singled out for deletion.
Rural clinics such as this are small and expensive to run, but are critical because they provide basic health services to women the length and breadth of our county. Of these services, only one (medical abortion, via pill not surgery) is controversial, and no county money has been used for this service, which is actually a very small part of the Planned Parenthood program.
County money contributed to Planned Parenthood is used to help women and children stay healthy, something we all want. Most constituents support such services, clearly shown by the regional reaction to the national Susan G. Komen Foundation's attempted deletion of Planned Parenthood from its funding list.
I would hope that the commissioners will reconsider, and also hope that their denial will unleash an avalanche of funding from the women who made it very clear in the recent federal election that they demand to be treated with respect.
I would like to clarify a few points about the Nov. 28 letter I wrote stating that President Obama and those that voted for him will have to start taking ownership and responsibility for what happens in America for the next four years. In a Dec. 16 letter, Craig Chisesi accused me of plagiarizing the letter from a blog.
First, I do not read blogs, the information on blogs are mostly opinion and their so-called facts can't be trusted. Second, I am certain that Mr. Chisesi, along with anyone else who paid attention the election, heard every talking head say that eventually the Obama administration will have to take responsibility for the results of their policies. So just to be clear, yes, I did get my idea for the letter from the talking heads saying it is time the left takes ownership of their policies.
One final comment on the plagiarism charge. I have pointed out numerous times to Ms. McGregor, the editor of the Post Independent, direct quotes from websites in letters written by Mr. Chisesi. For example on Nov. 27, Mr. Chisesi wrote, "Red states also have more auto fatalities, higher divorce rates, higher obesity and lower education levels." This was in his letter with no quotation marks. It just so happens I also have a Google machine and when Googled, this exact quote can be found in the Sept. 7 edition of the dailykos.com. "So pot, I meet kettle." By the way, I did not coin that phrase.
As far as the comment made by Mr. Chisesi about the "dirty air" in Rifle, I would ask if he thinks the readers are that stupid. We all know this was a backhanded comment made against the oil and gas industry. Are we to believe that Mr. Chisesi was referring to the pollution produced from the solar panel factories in China? And yes, I Googled "pollution from solar panel manufacturing in China" and there were many articles about that very subject. Too bad the Chinese don't follow the same environmental standards that the oil and gas industry does.
First of all, let me say that my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all those who were recently slain in Connecticut. I am a father of three beautiful children and I can't imagine the pain that the families are going through right now.
A person who would kill another human being, especially a child, with such malicious intent, is without question a very sick individual who needs to be taken out of society altogether. I am a firm believer in capital punishment to those who commit murder, rape and other horrible crimes.
However, on a different note, the American public needs to look at these random acts of violence and shootings from another perspective. The U.S. Constitution was written for the primary purpose of protecting the people of a nation from injustice of its government. Did we forget how we won the Revolutionary War? It sure wasn't from asking England to just go back home and play nice, was it? No, it was through bravery, heroism and firearms.
Fast forward to World War II. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, it was later revealed that the only reason why the Japanese empire decided not to invade the United States on its own soil was that, at the time, it was estimated that one out of every three U.S. citizens owned firearms and pretty much knew how to use them.
The Obama administration and our government would like nothing better than to attempt to disarm all gun owners. The U.S. Constitution was written more than 200 years ago by a group of individuals who understood more about doing what would be best for this great nation and its people than any of the politicians that currently serve today.
It's not the gun's fault. It's the idiot behind the trigger. Thousands of people die each year from getting hit by drunk drivers. With that in mind, is the Obama administration now going to start taking everyone's vehicle away from them?
We have the right to keep and bear arms to protect our homes and our families.