published Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Letters to the Editors

Minimum wage strengthens nation

Walter Williams' writings in your Sunday papers seem to be fixated on chastising the concept in general of the minimum wage laws and raises thereof.

One needs only to study the history of the labor movement and why the minimum wage laws were started in the first place. The American worker was in a dismal state in that era.

They had no safety laws; the employer could virtually do anything they chose to do to the worker without any protection or loyalty to them.

The unions as well as other protections such as minimum wage and safety regulations brought about some semblance of dignity and protection to the American worker.

I admit that productivity is integral to higher wages and benefits and must be taken into the process for things to progress, but it's management's duty to make sure the worker has the tools and incentives to produce.

The bottom line is the costs of the product the worker is producing is ultimately passed on to the customer anyway.

There is a part of our population that has been against unions since they were started and minimum wage was 50 cents per hour. The two have survived, and our country is the stronger for it.

JACK PINE

Dunlap, Tenn.



Scripture verses are a bright spot

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for your Scripture verses printed in the editorial section of your paper each day. This is the first thing I read in this section; it starts my day off in the right way! I also appreciate your using the King James version, which is the most reliable and correct translation we have in our language. I pray that you will continue to print these verses in the days to come. May God Bless!

GENE BENNETT



Citizens' needs being ignored

With regard to the paper's article (May 31) concerning Cloud Springs Road, I would like to comment:

As a resident on the road, our main concern is not whether the road will be ready for Costco's "Grand Opening," it is when will the mess which started in the fall of 2007 be addressed.

We were residents on the road before Costco became the big news for the county. Even though our property was put in a state of destruction nearly three years ago, no attempts have been made to alleviate the problem.

Elected officials travel this road frequently, and it would seem that they would notice these deplorable conditions and take action to those responsible. Vehicles entering Cloud Springs from side roads have poor visibility due to the high weeds, shrubs, etc. This is a serious and potentially dangerous situation. I am surprised that no one in authority cares.

I am in no way opposed to progress in the county. However, I am opposed to citizens' needs being ignored. After all, we are taxpayers.

HELLEN SMITH



Americans' laziness has done it again

The round-the-clock flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is a true environmental disaster. BP is taking the rap for this horror and should. But why does BP drill oil? Because we demand it!

Americans won't even consider walking or cycling as a means of transportation. Even as oil continues to gush into the ocean, we Americans are driving our huge vehicles a mere couple of miles to the store to buy one or two items. And we are not troubling our minds and hearts about the oil disaster, because it is out of our sight.

America had the opportunity 30 years ago to make vehicles more energy efficient, but lobbyists for the auto companies (who were in cahoots with the oil barons) convinced Congress that fuel efficiency would cost too much money. Short-term money saving won over common sense planning in this country -- too bad! Because this spill is going to be way more costly to our oceans, our coastlines and our dinner plates than we ever imagined. And, as usual, the creatures of the ocean, marshes and beaches had no say-so in our pollution of the world. Way to go, Americans. Our laziness and worship of money has done it again!

ANNE GARRARD

GRINDLE

Sewanee, Tenn.



Side with citizens or face ouster

Standing outside City Hall during the latest anti-tax protest, I was amazed at the support of the citizens driving past.

People would pause to read the signs -- then give thumbs up, smile, wave and even clap. I have never seen a population so solidly in agreement on any political issue.

A few minutes later, I walked into the council room. I was equally amazed at the obvious contempt with which Councilman Manny Rico treated those opposed to the tax increases. The contrast could hardly have been more striking.

A few years ago, I saw something similar happen in another city. The council of that city failed to quickly side with the citizens, and every incumbent was voted out of office. The only way this council can survive politically is to immediately go on the record that they side with the citizens and pass a resolution against any tax increase.

JEFF STADDON

Apison, Tenn.



Winters deserves to be re-elected

My wife and I live in the Briarstone community in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., Catoosa County District 2. On July 20, we will have the opportunity to vote for a county commissioner for our district and consider this a very important election for our country.

We hope to elect Mr. Bobby Winters to another term. Mr. Winters has done a great job and deserves to be re-elected. We have seen many signs all around the neighborhood for one of the candidates and it scares us. Where are they getting this money? I am 80 years old and have learned that when a politician receives money to run, he or she are in most cases obligated in some manner to the donors.

We don't need to gamble on an unproven politician.

We encourage all people in District 2 on July 20 to vote for Mr. Winters.

DAN & BETTYE

ST. CLAIR

Rossville



Restaurants safe without firearms

While reading the Letters to the Editor (June 3) in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, I was astonished to learn that "God" gave us the "right" to carry handguns in restaurants. And here all the time I thought it was those idiots in the Tennessee Legislature.

Why are you gun advocates so paranoid that you believe you are going to have to protect yourselves with a sidearm in Applebee's, Hardee's, etc.? I have felt perfectly safe in the Golden Corral on Gunbarrel Road until I saw an older senior citizen "packin' heat" there. Maybe he thought it was the OK Corral. That scares me.

WILLIS MARTIN

3
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CarolinaGal said...

Mr Pine is wrong and Walter E. Williams is right on the minimum wage. It prices out the workers who most need the jobs...the lowest skilled worker and the new worker. It isn't the unions but the laws of supply and demand that best regulate pay. Businesses must compete for customers and thus must be as cost effective in production as possible. When the min wage goes up, they have no choice but to hire fewer people or limit their hiring to only those who can produce at the new wage. Few earn min wage anyway....it is a starter wage and "starters" will have less opportunity to break into the workforce. That is already happening.

June 9, 2010 at 8:26 p.m.
rolando said...

It has been happening for decades, Carolina...ever since my first HS job in 1955...one I lost because the minimum wage went up.

June 9, 2010 at 8:37 p.m.
benburke said...

In respectful response to Mr. Willis Martin's letter published Saturday, June 5th: Thankfully, the idiots in the Tennessee Legislature were in the minority when pro-gun legislation was passed once again over Governor Bredesen's veto.

And yes, God did give us the "inalienable right" to protect ourselves. Jesus said, "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." (Luke 22:36) If guns were invented, Jesus may have said gun instead of sword. Inalienable rights are rights you cannot surrender or transfer; without the consent of the one possessing such rights. (Morrison v. State, Mo. App., 252 S.W.2d 97, 101.)

When are these gun-phobia, ill-informed people going to learn? Criminals and psychopaths don't obey the laws! Tell Suzanna Hupp, who lost both of her parents at Luby's cafeteria, October 16, 1991 to a lunatic with a gun. She had left her gun in her car to comply with Texas state law at the time, which forbade carrying a concealed weapon. Twenty-three innocent people were killed that day at Luby's. College campuses are usually gun-free zones. How did the Virginia Tech massacre happen? Because no law abiding citizen, with a gun permit, could stop Cho Seung-hui before he killed 32 people.

Guns and alcohol don't mix. What a lame excuse to keep me from protecting myself and my family. I don't drink, but I do carry a gun. And because I do, other Tennesseans should feel safer.

Sincerely,

Ben Burke

June 12, 2010 at 9:03 a.m.
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