Don’t place too much stock on higher education
Nowadays, thanks to globalization, American workers have to compete with well-educated workers in Europe and Asia, who are often willing to work for less money.
During recessions, employers can be picky about who they hire, so they pick college graduates over high school graduates, even for jobs that any reasonably intelligent individual could probably learn to do after some hands-on training by those same employers.
Feel free to disagree with me, but in my opinion the need for postsecondary education is overemphasized nowadays. Heck, I am living proof that a former immigrant managed to become a senior-level industrial engineer, hands-on, without having received any formal engineering education.
Here is how I did it: In 1959, I immigrated to the U.S. from Holland with my wife and three children. I worked for four years in a sweatshop factory for the minimum wage, until I became fluent in English.
Then I applied for a job with a large company that was willing to train me to become an engineer. Nine years later I became manager of engineering for another large consumer products company. Four years later I became director of engineering for a competitor.
ROBERT BOESTER, Boise
Todd Akin and Paul Ryan: Birds of a feather ...
Republican Rep. Todd Akin and GOP vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, want to force 12-year-old girls to bear their fathers’ babies and teenage girls to bear the children of men who threatened their lives and tortured them while raping them. They refer to these beliefs as “a culture of life.” I fail to see much life, love or respect in this warped and seriously twisted culture. They further insist God wants it this way. Akin insists God has called him to run for the Senate in Missouri.
And now the Akin-Ryan plank is in the GOP platform. Spare us all from the likes of these hateful demagogues.
CHARLENE CURRY, Boise
Safety net goes away under GOP agenda
Idaho is not a wealthy state. Per capita income from 2001 through 2011 was near the bottom of the nation, never ranked higher than the lowest 20 percent of the states. And, from 2009 through 2011, Idaho was ranked 49 out of 50. These figures are disturbing in and of themselves. But there is a deeper issue. If one considers that Idaho voters will in all likelihood vote Republican in the coming elections, one is struck by the incoherence of this choice.
Most Idaho citizens, with their modest incomes, really benefit from federal programs, the most important being Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Yet these same Idahoans appear ready to put into power the very political party that has sought to destroy these programs.
For nearly 80 years, beginning with Social Security, Republicans have been working to dismantle or destroy them. No matter what they say, Romney/Ryan do not intend to “save” Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Their real aim is to destroy these programs for ideological reasons and remove the safety net from Idahoans and their families.
Idaho voters need to think twice before buying this latest Republican scam. If Republicans win, Idahoans lose. It is really that simple.
RICHARD HARRISON, Boise
If Romney’s a saint, then so is Obama
Regarding the Aug. 21 letter from Leah Shaw:
Mitt Romney is a saint, eh? Well, we all know he pays his tithe, has his temple recommend, and is a card-carrying member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
But what about President Barack Obama? Married to one woman? Check. No scandals? Check. Intelligent and a Harvard Law School graduate? Check. Doesn’t do drugs? Check. Kids have no police records or drug rehab? Check. Handsome and gracious? Check. Wealth is self-made? Check. Not a product of second or third welfare generation or illegal alien? Check.
So, by Ms. Shaw’s criteria, Barack Obama is also a saint, but it doesn’t matter to her because he’s just not of the Latter-day variety.
AL HERRING, Homedale
Fix system; set term limits
The history of why our country is in this mess today shouldn’t be forgotten. The unnecessary war in Iraq, with no taxes to pay for it, and a tax cut for the rich. If we had attacked Afghanistan, the ones responsible for 9/11, instead of attacking Iraq, this war would be over, according to the military experts, and our troops could come home. When the prior administration took the presidency, there was a surplus in our treasury. Four years later, our country is in debt trillions of dollars. Each of us should ask ourselves why and who is really responsible. Our roads and bridges need work and employees pay taxes, send kids to school, take vacations, etc. It seems this is one way to get our country going again? They can’t send these jobs overseas. If Congress had term limits and lobbyists were eliminated, our country could function as it was intended to. Civics should be a required course so students know how our government is supposed to function.
JIM BYRNE, Boise
Draw the line on what corporate bosses can make
Now that the Supreme Court has decided that corporations are people, I have a brilliant idea. Since we have a minimum wage (which sets the lowest level at which a person may be paid), it is time to establish a maximum wage limit. This would establish the highest amount corporations could take home. Agree? Now, all we must do is get Congress to pass the law. I have a hunch that our Congress will not see this as brilliant. Oh well.
TOM EDGAR, Boise
Harassment unwarranted in concert confusion
After hiking the Table Rock trail on Sunday evening before the Norah Jones concert, I walked down to get my car, which was parked off Warm Springs Road. I tried to drive back up Penitentiary Road to the parking lot behind the Bishop’s House, which had about 200 cars in it. I was stopped by the kids in green vests and they told me I couldn’t drive down the road to the parking lot. The lot had at least a dozen open spaces. I was harassed aggressively by these people, who said I couldn’t go over there because it was private property. What? It’s the parking lot for the Table Rock trail and everyone uses it. I ended up driving past these people as they screamed at me.
Once out of my car, I saw them drive through the parking lot in a golf cart and park behind my car. Why the harassment? When there’s a concert are the parking lots to the trails heads automatically closed?
I’m a guy who plays by the rules and hates conflict, but one of the things I hate the most is people making up the rules as they go.
PHIL ACKERMAN, Meridian