Letters to the editor-12-13-2013

December 13, 2013 

Education

I was delighted by the Statesman’s report of acts of compassion by the citizens of Idaho, ranging from collecting aluminum cans reported in the Sunday Dec. 1 Statesman to the story of the Christmas Giveaway in Garden City reported in the Saturday Nov. 30 Statesman. These acts of generosity shown by the citizenry of Idaho reflect the basic wholesome character of Idahoans.

However, there are several contrasting characteristics that cast a different light. Idaho leads the nation in the fraction of citizens who earn a minimum wage and is ranked 48th in the amount of per capita spending directed toward education, and according to an opinion in the Lewiston Tribune, published in the Dec. 2 Statesman, Idaho does not fully support a pre-K schooling program. Gov. Otter’s task force has yielded a road map toward improving education funding and state Rep. Hy Kloc has introduced legislation to begin a pilot pre-K program.

These efforts are a good start to bring Idaho’s education programs up to speed. Let us all remember that advancement of our citizens depends on a well-trained, well-educated workforce, and that all begins with the basics. Now let’s have some action from all of us!

DAVID EDERER, Meridian

Government

We’ve all heard it. A country that can give you everything you want can also take from you everything that you have. Imagine the government moving you and yours from your home and into a small bungalow so they can move an unwed mother with nine kids into your used-to-be home. Or seeing a Wal-mart store going up where your home once stood. Unlikely, you say? When the Supreme Court made eminent domain the law of the land, that became very much of a possibility.

All that I have ever wanted was to just be left alone with the opportunity to be the best that I can be according to my ability, ambition and desires.

Some believe, however, that the government should be the answer to everything. Hungry or out of work? See the government. Need insurance or a place to live? Or perhaps you need someone to tuck you in at night. No problem, they can handle that, too.

If this describes you and if you believe that government is the answer then why reinvent the wheel? Just move to Cuba.

DON L. LAYNE, Cascade

Water storage

Mr. Barrie's recent Reader's View column on water storage missed some of the important questions on the topic. First, why is more storage needed when growth in the valley is in residential and commercial areas not in agriculture? Urban water users use one-third to one half the water on a per acre basis, as does agriculture. Are water districts making use of this increased supply from reduced urban demand?

Second, who is going to pay for new dams? The federal government is taking dams down, not building them. The state government doesn’t seem to be a viable source if its recent fiscal history is any guide. Local water users could possibly finance such projects if they could find interested lenders and if they were able to get the approval of their district voters.

The bottom line is that water supply and storage are only part of the equation. The other part of the equation is demand that needs to be better understood and managed before a compelling case can be made for more storage.

PAUL CUNNINGHAM, Boise

Unanswered questions

Your article, Nov. 24, “Abortion rights advocate cites her faith in ongoing battles” has me wondering what type of freedom is our government's warmongering fighting for?

Is it the right for men to use and abuse women in whatever manner they choose? Is it a demand that unwanted and/or unplanned for children be brought into the world who may or may not be neglected and/or abused?

Are women escaping the traditional role of women by taking jobs and power positions traditionally held by men, an escape women in Muslim countries are not given?

For women, isn’t the definition of freedom illusive? Are those servicemen who return from duty on leave or injured able to define the type of freedom they are fighting for or are they mercenaries? Are they fighting to support capitalism? Are all those billionaires in our country satisfied with this type of protection of their freedom? All this warmongering is very confusing and so ill-defined since diplomacy and cultural differences are marginalized.

CECILIA LANGLAND, Boise

Monetary policy

Ed Lotterman's observations (Nov. 22) about monetary policy confuse Republican and Democrat practices with conservative and liberal policies.

Liberal policies enhance government interference in the private sector; conservative policies limit government interference.

More interference by the monetary authorities is a liberal policy whether done by Republicans or Democrats; less interference is a conservative policy.

The late Milton Friedman's preferred monetary policy (conservative) was to increase the money supply at a steady rate and allow the market to set interest and employment rates regardless of particular economic conditions; liberal policy is to use the Federal Reserve to influence market conditions.

The practices of Arthur Burns, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen are liberal-interventionist regardless of party affiliation and have had and will have the same dire consequences of the Great Depression, stagflation of the late 70s, the current Great Recession and future economic disruptions, i.e., high interest rates and/or rampant inflation, low levels of investment and employment.

Conservative, non-interventionist policy works; liberal interventionist policy does not work, whether practiced by Republicans or Democrats.

WILLIAM HALLER, Boise

Idaho Power

So now Idaho Power will have to come back to the PUC and ask permission if they want to ask their customers to pick up the tab for the Wyoming coal plant. What a laugh. We all know the PUC, Idaho Power, and United Water are all in bed together. So sad for we, their customers.

LINDA KINNETT, Boise

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