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Letters to the editor

More work for less money; a one-state solution in the Mideast; movie pirates

December 26, 2009

A stand against greed

Re “Productivity is up, workers worn down,” Dec. 20

Greed, not need, eliminates most raises, even in this tough economy. Take the sporting goods company cited in the article that laid off two of its 22 employees, squeezing 20% more work from those left. The company's chief financial officer says that when the economy picks up, employees may get raises. No raises now.

What would a $1 raise for 20 employees cost? There are 2,080 regular work hours in a year, so the raises would cost the company $41,600. So why not? Because the owners get $41,600 less. Does anyone believe that owners with a staff of 20, plus executives, can't afford that?

People with very high incomes have to work very hard. People with average incomes or smaller shouldn't be overworked and still not get better pay. Will employers make us a nation of over-stressed, underpaid people with neglected personal lives? I'm an employer, and I won't.

Ira Spiro
Los Angeles

I'd be willing to wager that nowhere in this city are the things you cite -- long workdays, high stress levels, disrupted family lives, exhaustion and high rates of depression -- greater than at The Times itself. It's disingenuous to write about this subject without including yourselves among the worst offenders. You are carriers of this disease as surely as those you report on.

My heart goes out to the few hundred employees remaining at this once proud newspaper.

Art Kradin
Valley Village

L.A.'s priorities

Re “L.A.’s hands not on deck,” Dec. 19

I am not so worried about the employee retirement program that will reduce the city of Los Angeles' civilian workforce at least 9%. It all boils down to priorities. In order of importance:

1. Tax cuts.

2. Tax cuts.

3. Tax cuts . . .

26. Tax cuts.

27. Make sure the city can be a reasonable place to live.

There is always fat and waste to cut.

Pat Mauer
Pasadena

Crack down on pushy salesmen

Re “Salesman arrested in sexual assault, home-invasion robbery,” Dec. 19

We too have been targeted by these aggressive door-to-door magazine salesmen. I have asked the police to not allow them to solicit, but I was told law enforcement cannot legally stop them.

Maybe now that a woman has been attacked in her own home, the City Council can pass legislation to stop this dangerous intrusion. Where are our rights?

Linda Bowling
Studio City

Multiple views of one-state solution

Re “Many steps to one state,” Opinion, Dec. 20

This is the first time I have seen an alternative to the two-state solution presented in the mainstream American media.

As a Palestinian, I believe a two-state solution is inherently unjust because it implies that the majority of Palestinian refugees who were forced out of their homes in 1948 and again in 1967 would not be allowed to return. Meanwhile, European and American Jews will be allowed to move to and settle into the land that was formerly inhabited by Palestinians.

A one-state solution is clearly the only solution that would be just.

I hope to see further discussions of a one-state solution in future articles.

Ramzi El-khater
San Diego

Thank you for publishing the comments by Jonathan Kuttab on a future one-state solution for Israel/Palestine.

Kuttab's solution is supremely reasonable, and anyone who knows educated Palestinians knows that it is possible -- and may well be inevitable.

Who thought that South Africa could have reached the place it occupies today? Israelis and Palestinians have more in common than black and white South Africans have. They are both "children of Abraham" and seek the same goals -- a peaceful existence in the land of their fathers (and mothers).

Thank you again for allowing this debate to begin.

Courtney Carter
Frederick, Md.

Kuttab writes: "Zionism will ultimately need to redefine its goals and aspirations, this time without ignoring or seeking to dispossess the indigenous Palestinian population."

But the Zionist movement's objective was the reestablishment of the nation-state of the Jewish people in the land of its origin. It did not plan to expel the Arabs. On the contrary, it accepted the United Nations partition in 1947, which means it accepted the right of the Palestinians to political self-determination and statehood. The Arabs rejected the United Nations plan, started a war and brought disaster on their people.

After it became clear that Israel could not be destroyed by military means, here comes a different way to reach the same objective: the one-state solution. That is why those who support that solution are known as strong opponents of Israel. Even the extreme left in Israel opposes the idea.

Jacob Amir
Jerusalem, Israel

Kuttab's article about drawing up plans for safeguarding the rights of a future Jewish minority in Israel, subject to a Palestinian majority, would be laughable were the topic not so serious.

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