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Newt Gingrich's presidential hopes; California's business climate; and jail overcrowding in California

November 20, 2011
  • Newt Gingrich speaks during his "Jobs Here, Jobs Now" tour on Oct. 21 in Phoenix. Recent polls show he is the latest Republican presidential candidate to compete with Mitt Romney for frontrunner status. (Joshua Lott / Getty Images)
Newt Gingrich speaks during his "Jobs Here, Jobs Now" tour on… (Joshua Lott, Getty Images )

Looking at Gingrich

Re "Will the best debater win?," Opinion, Nov. 15

Jonah Goldberg elevates the immoral and discredited Newt Gingrich to the level of great white Republican hope. For shame: We're discussing the leadership of our country. Instead, he offers this sophomoric analysis.

Gingrich is smart, educated and totally dishonest. In his previous power position he brought the federal government to a halt.

Now Goldberg and other conservative pundits seem to think that if Gingrich had another chance he could stop the Earth's rotation. He can't and he won't.

I suggest that Republicans find a different superman to ride on in the race for America's survival.

Sheldon J. Baer

Woodland Hills

Apparently Goldberg believes that the mainstream media does not include the newspaper with the largest circulation in the country, the most listened-to radio show, the highest-rated cable news network and authors whose works regularly appear on the New York Times bestseller list.

The alternative is that he believes the Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and a plethora of right-wing authors including Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter have all "shown little interest in holding [President] Obama accountable."

Larry Ballard

Carpinteria

California's business climate

Re "Toxic for business," Opinion, Nov. 14

The article by Wendell Cox and Steven Malanga attacks California's "anti-business" regulations. If the state is indeed so suffocating to business, why do many high-tech businesses still want to be headquartered in our state, especially in the Silicon Valley?

High-tech workers want to live in California because we offer a safe and beautiful environment (thanks to regulations) as well as the intellectual climate that fosters technology development.

Go ask Apple, Google and Facebook employees if they want to relocate to Texas.

Christopher Shih

Torrance

Several weeks ago I attended a forum in Orange County where Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke about how to grow and repair California's economy and fight the tide of businesses leaving.

He said California needed to get more trade development offices opened up globally and in the U.S. He did not mention the serious problems detailed by Cox and Malanga.

I left convinced that our present government is either thoroughly incompetent or so wedded to its special-interest financial spigots that it is not willing to take the serious steps needed to right the ship.

Little wonder it's being driven onto the rocks.

Gene Erbstoesser

Long Beach

In contrast to "evidence" cited by Cox and Malanga, recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that government regulations do not kill jobs. As the Washington Post reported last week:

"Whenever a firm lays off workers, the bureau asks executives the biggest reason for the job cuts. In 2010, 0.3% of the people who lost their jobs in layoffs were let go because of 'government regulations/intervention.' By comparison, 25% were laid off because of a drop in business demand."

California has its share of self-inflicted problems, but I take great pride in the fact it leads the nation in forward-thinking environmental legislation.

Even if Cox and Malanga are correct, the solution is not to relax regulatory standards to match other states or countries, but to raise their standards to California's and level the playing field. Dumbing down is never a winning strategy.

Roy Forbes

Los Angeles

Not so rosy

Re "Prison realignment done right," Editorial, Nov. 13

Claiming that prison realignment is part of a movement toward "more deliberative decisions to incarcerate less and rehabilitate more" is a naive interpretation of the state's shirking of responsibility to underfunded and overcrowded county facilities.

The funds earmarked in 2007 by AB 900 are for building new county jails to ease our own overcrowding, not to become de facto prisons.

The already stressed county Probation Department cannot manage 9,000 more state cases, and prison beds cannot be contracted back to a state system that has no beds.

Prison overcrowding must instead be alleviated by the state through expanding less-costly in-state and out-of-state contracts, and focusing on government spending reform rather than passing the buck. Otherwise, realignment will simply release criminals back into our communities at the expense of local government budgets.

Michael D. Antonovich

Los Angeles

The writer is Los Angeles County supervisor, 5th District.

Healthcare reform's fate

Re "Healthcare at the high court," Editorial, Nov. 16

I worked as a family doctor for 47 years. There is no doubt that early treatment reduces the severity and shortens the length of many illnesses.

Sadly, many patients delay getting care because they don't want to spend the money or can't afford it. Many patients go to emergency rooms because they know they must be treated regardless of ability to pay. Many healthy people wait to buy insurance until they need it.

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