To the editor:
The country is in a shambles. We have a failed socialized health care program that the majority of the people do not want, in the form of Obamacare. Our deficit spending portends a painful coming inflation with exorbitant interest rates to check it. There is gridlock between the political parties and internal squabbles in each party. There are scandals galore, such Benghazi and the National Security Agency spying. There are federal agencies such as the EPA and OSHA mandating business-crippling rules. And we have a foreign policy that foreshadows great trouble and international conflict. This is just a glimpse of our woes.
So who is to blame for all of this mayhem, confusion and angst? Is it an ineffective, narcissist, do-nothing, know-nothing president? Is it the House of Representatives that caves on every crisis? Is it the Senate led by that little dictator, Harry Reid? Or is it The Supreme Court? Could it be the unions, special interest groups or George Soros?
I say none of these. The blame belongs to the voters, many of whom are uninformed or have little interest, or who are beholden to the welfare state. You get what you vote for, so this catastrophe is exactly what you the people who voted deserve. As a gambler friend of mine would say, the mess is yours in spades. I would say that the voters fumbled the ball and gave the store away.
BURTON J. SIMPSON
To the editor:
In response to Lawrence Kudlow’s column (“The challenge is growth, not inequality,” Dec. 11 Review-Journal), I don’t claim to be an expert on economic policy, nor do I wish to engage in a debate about the benefits of laissez-faire economics versus a more active federal role. But I do remember the lessons I learned in math class some 50 years ago and would like to offer some comments on Mr. Kudlow’s analysis.
He talks of people in the middle quintile of after-tax income, who have moved to the upper brackets, thus shrinking the middle class. But a quintile, by definition, is 20 percent of the whole population. If people are moving upward to a higher quintile, others must be moving downward to a lower quintile, or entering the census at a lower level.
Mr. Kudlow also cites a study that “the poorest fifth of the population saw after-tax income grow by 32 percent” for the 30-year period from 1977 to 2007. By my calculations, this works out to a gain of barely over 1 percent per year, far less than necessary to keep pace with the increase in the cost of living over that time period.
Thus, while trying to prove otherwise, Mr. Kudlow has demonstrated that inflation-adjusted income for the lower groups has in fact declined. All this, I presume, while he himself has remained comfortably in an upper quintile.
To the editor:
I am responding to the article regarding follow-up outcomes of patients discharged from Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital to out-of-state destinations (“After busing, Rawson-Neal patients saw trouble,” Monday Review-Journal). It is thought that non-substance-abusing, mentally ill patients probably have the same rate of criminal behavior as that of a “normal” population. However, state hospital populations are usually represented by a mixture of mentally ill patients and patients with various personality disorders, including antisocial personality. These people have high rates of substance abuse and criminal behavior.
To fairly evaluate the data on the 1,500 patients discharged out of state from Rawson-Neal Hospital, a comparison would have to be made regarding outcomes of 1,500 patients discharged from another state hospital. I strongly suspect that the results from Rawson-Neal Hospital would be equal or superior to every other state hospital in the country.
As of yet, medical science has not found a cure for criminality. Criminals sometimes continue with criminal behavior. Also, bear in mind that Las Vegas is a tourist destination with millions of visitors each year. A certain small percentage of these people have serious psychiatric illness. Once they are treated and recovered, the first thing they usually want to do is go home. This is made a little more difficult in the present climate.
RANDALL ROSENTHAL, MD