American dream moves out of reach
Paul Krugman's column ("Oligarchy, American style," Nov. 5) is on target. Income and wealth is being concentrated in the top few percent of Americans, while the bottom many lose out. The truth is that the American dream is receding from more and more of the American people. The middle class of America is being hollowed out.
Mr. Krugman says the consequence of this disparity is that America will become (is becoming?) less and less a true democracy. I believe the more disturbing consequence is that our great American democratic experiment will fall into major civil unrest that will make the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the '60s seem tame.
The Arab Spring is about the majority poor revolting against the minority rich. Closer to home, I believe the gang violence in Chattanooga is about the loss of hope that the poor can ever aspire to join the middle class. The first answer is education. An educated person has power and hope.
Secondly is to better level the playing field so that all have equal opportunity.
Thirdly is for America to spend more of its riches on making people and infrastructure improvements and less on making war.
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Player's attitude makes her a winner
I typically read the sports section in the newspaper first. As a general rule sports are positive and tell of accomplishments, while the remainder of the paper contains a fair amount of negative news.
A disturbing trend over the past few decades is the importance of winning at all costs. We saw it first in the professional ranks, watched it continue down through college, and most troubling is evident in the "pee-wees."
Sports were and in many cases still are a positive influence for our children. When winning becomes the most important element of sports the positive influence can be lost and even become a negative.
One of the first things I read in the Nov. 4 sports section was "Don't be sad that it's over. Be happy that it happened." These were the reported words of Soddy-Daisy junior Summer Lanter to her teammates in the final huddle of the season. Her team had just lost 7-1 in a state semifinal soccer match.
I trust her parents were more proud of her outstanding attitude and leadership than her scoring the team's only goal. To borrow a line from "Remember the Titans," you are a winner in my book, Summer.
MIKE CROWDER, Signal Mountain
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Bring Manning back to the Vols
If Peyton Manning is forced to retire from the NFL, I hope he comes to Tennessee Vols as a quarterback coach.
RAY BROWN, Soddy-Daisy
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Liberals' policies to blame for mess
Re: "GOP prevents deficit deal," (Nov. 5): How one-sided you liberals are. Because Republicans do not want to raise taxes they are preventing the deficit deal? You say Republicans call for only spending cuts. You are right. This is what the voters asked for in the 2010 election, or did you forget already.
You say Republicans propose mainly cuts in hard-earned entitlements like Social Security and Medicare. That is incorrect and misleading because those cuts would only come to younger people under a certain age. But as usual you mislead the public by not telling the whole truth.
You also talk about the big corporations and all the money they make and the lower tax rates they pay. Well, who gave them the loopholes for lower taxes. I suppose you want to blame that on Republicans.
Keep up the rhetoric, because the citizens of this country are getting wise to the liberals blaming everyone but their policies for the mess we are in. Let's just hope we get things changed in the 2012 election.
MARY FRICKE, Spring City, Tenn.
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COLA doesn't keep up with costs
I agree 110 percent with that letter writer (on Nov. 4) about those program cuts endangering seniors. We're finally going to get a COLA. But, the price of everything else keeps on going up! Just can't win for losing!
BOB STYTZER, East Ridge
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Executive bonuses anger taxpayers
Million-dollar bonuses that are being given to executives at Fannie and Freddie are outrageous. Why not ask your senator to write a letter to the president or to give him a call and ask him to repeal the bonuses if you agree they are wrong?
Fourteen million people out of work, over 20 percent of Americans living in poverty, over 40 million on food stamps while Fannie and Freddie executives are being paid huge bonuses for just doing a job that they are already well paid to do.
Had executives at Fannie and Freddie done such a spectacular job, then the housing situation wouldn't be in the sad shape it is currently in. These kind of flagrant actions by whomever are infuriating to taxpayers and must be curtailed.
No thanks at all to taxpayers for having been bailed out.
JAMES ASHER, Hixson
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Stress academics like you do football
I am not a great sports fan, but when I notice all the high school football fever I wonder sometimes.
What if the school systems and community leaders got as excited about the ever-declining academic achievements of our children as they do about the results of the high school football teams?
What if the whole nation got as excited about the academic achievements of the American youth as they do about high school football all over the country?
Chances are that, finally, something would be done about the declining quality of American education.
I know the Chinese have different priorities. Of course, they are pathetic football players but they do graduate millions (!) of highly qualified engineers every year.
Can I kindly request you give the matter some thought next time you buy something "made in China"? I suspect that will be within the next few hours.
JAN POURQUOI, Tunnel Hill, Ga.
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Hollywood affords smoking influence
The Food and Drug Administration is either shockingly naive or disgracefully dishonest in how it proposes to discourage the youth of America from smoking by having "graphic warning labels" or "smoking cessation counseling" and a "1-800-quit now" number for kids to call all for a mere $600 million!
Does anyone with kids seriously believe any of those programs are going to discourage our kids from smoking? Please!
You could color all cigarette packs black with a skull and crossbones and the kids would smoke even more. Obviously the FDA doesn't know that kids think they're invincible and are attracted to danger?
What else kids are attracted to and imitate are their "role model" movie stars. Isn't it amazing that in this latest effort to discourage kids from smoking, not a single pinky was pointed at Hollywood and the influence their films have on our kids when their "role models" light up on the big screen.
Wanna know where the cigarette industry's $10 billion marketing budget goes? Let's push for a congressional investigation into how much of that $10 billion goes into the pockets of the Hollywood producers.
LOU WILCOX, Rossville, Ga.
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GOP should let Obama pass bills
All of my adult life, I have been with the Republican Party.
They will not work with President Obama. He had several bills but they are against them.
We have a holiday coming up soon. Maybe all the Republicans will take a vacation and let the president sign into law the good bills he needs to pass.
Thank God for this country.
MARY ALYCE ROSENBERG