Letters to the editor: 01-02-2014

January 2, 2014 

Overpopulation

The meaning of Christmas has taken on a new complication: the inundation of requests from charities, including telemarketers, and my resentment is increasing, too. Such requests have gotten excessive, like multiple requests from the same organization. Some are caused by the Internet sharing of names of nice people willing to make donations.

I hate to be a one-note Nellie, but is not overpopulation partly the cause of so much neediness? Our society has no curb on, or even tacit disapproval, of unrestricted population growth. Our economy is on the slippery slope and charities are crying for more help. Financial assistance is only a temporary fix, which does not solve the underlying problem: too many mouths to feed.

The animal rights movement promotes spaying and neutering of domestic pets to help prevent animal suffering, as from neglect and starvation. The same logic applies to humans. Having too many people hurts our overall quality of life and is devastating to wildlife and the environment. It is time to protect what we have and not make more problems for the future. I, for one, will be donating less not more, partly out of necessity and partly because I believe the system is being abused.

CAROL BACHELDER, Boise

Education

I’ve always thought education was extremely important, as is learning how to use technology; however, putting elementary school children in front of computers for hours to type seems unnecessary. Elementary school is an extremely important place for kids to learn how to socialize and work with others, but the more they are frustrated with electronics, the less teamwork and lower communication skills they have, which will impact their life later. Lab time is important, but so is the simple ability of being able to work with others.

DEANNA BALDWIN, Boise

Driving

New Year’s resolution: I resolve to be a less distracted driver and become more attentive.

I resolve to not cruise in the left lane of four-lane roads at less than within 10 mph of the speed limit when the right lane is open.

I resolve to use hands-free devices only and to never text while driving.

I resolve to move through left-turn lights in a prompt manner so those behind me can, too.

I resolve not to leave more than five-car-length gaps between me and other cars, realizing that leaving 10- to 20-car-length gaps between cars only impedes the flow of traffic.

I resolve to be patient and wait until it is clear to pull into traffic.

I resolve to always use turn signals to indicate lane changes.

I resolve to allow other drivers to merge with traffic and change lanes when they signal intent.

I resolve not to creep into the crosswalk while waiting on traffic.

Have a happy, safe New Year!

BILL BURNS, Boise

Poverty wages

We pay for food stamps for all. Taxpayers need to be relieved of the payment for welfare for the underpaid employees of corporations. The fast-food restaurants are big corporations that are guilty of this practice. They pay poverty wages with no benefits and then direct employees to go to the food stamp office. The top 10 fast-food restaurants cost us (the taxpayers) more than $3.8 billion. (National Employment Law Project)

Almost a third of the half-million U.S. bank tellers receive public assistance. Workers collect about $105 million in food stamps, $250 million through earned income tax credit, $534 million by way of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program according to the University of California at Berkeley’s Labor Center. (Reprinted in the Idaho Statesman on Dec. 4.)

Wal-Mart is the largest U.S. employer with 2.4 million employees. Wal-Mart revenue for year 2013 was $469 billion. Its profit was $27.8 billion. CNN said Wal-Mart could give its employees a 50 percent pay raise and still satisfy its shareholders. (International Business Times)

I thinks this stinks.

FRED CHRISTENSEN, Caldwell

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