I agree with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that Chinese solar modules contribute to lower costs for solar energy installation in the U.S. However, we need to generate manufacturing jobs in this country by creating a market for domestically made products. The government is the best way to do that, because market forces will always seek the lowest cost.
The best American companies involved in electronics are only now recognizing the potential of the solar market. We have to nudge them along so that jobs will be created here. Even the companies that design products in the U.S. send jobs to China.
So yes, we do indeed need "buy American" provisions for government contracts.
Re "Tale of three workers: Hopes, fears for 2011," Business, Jan. 20
Post office supervisor Neri Cruz may well be expecting a 4% to 5% raise this year. But the employees you see in your local post office are expecting no such thing.
I am a window clerk in the Santa Barbara main post office. The roughly 500,000 clerks and maintenance workers across the U.S. have been working without a contract since November. We assume our raises over the next five-year contract will be either nothing or next to it.
We are happy to help our customers, but frontline postal workers are not receiving raises or bonuses anything like what that manager in San Marino is looking forward to.
Re "Spiritual father of U.S. fitness movement," Obituary, Jan. 24
When I heard about Jack LaLanne's passing, I had just come back from the gym. How fitting!
I, a 52-year-old woman, am testament to his impact. My mother bought me a membership in one of his gyms when I was 16; I still have the towel I won for perfect attendance in 1976, although the $76 cash prize is long spent.
The habit for fitness has never left me, and I owe it all to Jack (and my mom).