It's the economy
Re "Can the economy be saved?" Opinion, Nov. 14
The conservatives say cut taxes and regulations. The progressives say invest in education, technology and infrastructure using targeted taxes and incentives. This tactical debate is insufficient because it does not address a fundamental structural problem.
For our economy to be healthy, people need jobs to get money to buy stuff. There are not enough jobs because many have been exported to countries with lower labor costs and fewer regulations. The mega-corporations leading the economy follow profit and have no fundamental loyalty to people or nations.
High unemployment will persist because profits are tied to job elimination, not job creation. We as a nation need to eliminate this fundamental flaw if we want to create prosperity for our citizens.
John D. Kelley
I am no economist, bu I have long felt that banks' reluctance to extend credit and hang on to a trillion dollars in reserves is a significant factor in keeping our unemployment high. This was referred to in different ways and degrees in five of the eight opinions by experts on Sunday's Op-Ed page.
Small businesses need to have access to credit to keep their doors open. But the focus seems to be elsewhere, on tax cuts, rebates, more stimulus and bond issues. I just don't get it.
Let Congress start the ball rolling on fixing the economy by requiring its members to take a pay cut, reduce their staffs accordingly, eliminate their medical coverage, eliminate junkets and earmarks and cut vacations to two weeks per year.
Maybe when they feel the pain many of us are experiencing, they just might get the message and come up with solutions.
I'm appalled that John H. Cochrane, a professor of finance, would parrot the Republican nonsense about how reducing taxes will result in increased hiring.
I was president of a 30-person engineering firm for 30 years. We had our ups and downs; however, our discussions over whether to hire someone never included anything about taxes or healthcare but did include everything about our project backlog. A government stimulus to fund infrastructure projects, like improving our country's Internet backbone, would have helped our project backlog.
I can't imagine why it would be different for any other firm, small or large.
Harvey H. Liss
Of course the economy can be saved. The real question is will the economy be saved. Most certainly, borrowing money from China and other countries to provide tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires will prevent this from happening.
The past eight years and the near collapse of our economy have exposed the trickle-down theory as a myth. It's time to try "trickle up."
Re "Alienating Latinos," Editorial, Nov. 15
The Times writes: "Pushing the divisive 'anchor babies' rhetoric is no road to immigration reform and will only make Latino voters more suspicious of the GOP motives than they have already become."
That's a strange statement on your part. I am an American citizen of Latino heritage, and I am very pleased with the GOP taking an aggressive stand against the invasion from south of our border.
Of course if one is an illegal alien, one doesn't like the term anchor baby. But illegal immigrants don't vote. Moreover, why would American citizens of Latino heritage welcome illegal immigration?
We don't need immigration reform. We need immigration enforcement.
Once again The Times tars those who want to stem the rising tide of illegal immigration with the old reliable "anti-immigrant" label.
The noble intentions of the14th Amendment are being corrupted so that lawbreakers can increase their numbers and power in this country. If the GOP must fear coercion from these groups if it attempts to redress this loophole, then lawlessness rules the day.
Preparing better teachers
Re "Training better teachers," Opinion, Nov. 16
This is a good article on teacher training programs, but there is a much more important issue. As I proposed in Science magazine last September, the main problem is that the U.S. does not attract the best college students to go into teaching careers.
South Korea has a starting teacher salary equal to 141% of the country's per capita GDP, while the U.S. has a starting teacher salary of only 81% of per capita GDP.
Right now the U.S. does not have the political will to substantially raise teacher salaries, which would raise the prestige of the career. The salaries should be on par with physicians and lawyers. Teaching is much more important to the nation.
We will continue down the road toward uncompetitive K-12 education that threatens national security, health and welfare. We are already an international K-12 education basket case.
Steven B. Oppenheimer
Speaking as a teacher, I was generally impressed with Camille Esch's Op-Ed article.