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LETTERS: GOP will pay for opposing Obamacare

To the editor:

The National Health Service was established in the United Kingdom 65 years ago to provide health care to all its citizens, regardless of their ability to pay. It removed the crippling financial specter of poor or chronic ill health, it curbed the influence of the health industries’ vested interests, and it contributed to a more just and equitable society. It has quite rightly been described as the greatest piece of social engineering ever undertaken and has been used as a blueprint by the vast majority of industrialized countries.

In the United States, Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, for they full well know that once it has been installed and is working, and the majority of the people have seen its benefits, just as with Medicare and Social Security, there will be no going back. The GOP is trying to swim against the progressive tide, and unless it adopts a more inclusive attitude to the American people and amends its selfish, narrow-minded philosophy, it will rightly be consigned to the garbage can of history.



Fast-food workers

To the editor:

While it is not uncommon for some to have an exaggerated sense of their worth in the marketplace, those few fast-food protesters and their union organizers are deluding themselves if they think they are worth $15 an hour. If I were a carpenter, electrician, nurse’s assistant or preschool teacher, who often make much less per hour than that, I would infer that these people think they’re more valuable than I am.

Surely, skilled carpenters or electricians should command more than a low-skill fast-food position that generally doesn’t even require a high school diploma or adult status (age 18). I recently made less than $15 an hour as a substitute high school teacher — and I had to have a college degree for that.

These workers are not publicizing that they make more here in Nevada ($8.25 an hour minimum wage) than the federal minimum wage ($7.25 an hour), and unlike workers in other states, Nevadans pay no state income tax on those higher-than-normal minimum wages.

I guess I would ask these people two questions: Where do you think you can make $15 an hour with your current skill set? And where would you be working, and for how much, if you weren’t working your current job? When other federal pay scales (Social Security, federal salaries, etc.) are getting a 2 to 3 percent cost-of-living raise each year, these workers want a 100 percent raise.

Congress should consider a minimum wage raise, and perhaps raise it with the cost of living, but to demand more money than what higher-skilled workers are paid is not even remotely economically realistic.



Speed limits

To the editor:

Regarding last month’s pedestrian death on Blue Diamond Road:

I drive this road several times each day. The speed limit was increased from 45 mph to 55 mph about a year ago. There does not seem to be any increase in accidents due to this; most of the accidents are at light-controlled intersections. These are media-hyped accidents on a road that is no more dangerous than any other, except for the number of risk-takers.

A second accident at the Blue Diamond site three days after the pedestrian’s death might have been caused by the vigil taking place nearby.

A local TV news reporter said she had to run to get across Blue Diamond Road and asked, why should a child have to do this to get a snack? So, should we put up crosswalks or lights at every place that a risk-taker gets hit? Would the ideal solution be to put lights at every intersection on every road in the state, and reduce all speed limits to 25 mph, as it was in the past?

I grew up having to cross a major six-lane road without stoplights to go to school from the first grade on. No one got run over because we were taught respect for cars. Any loss of life is not acceptable, but deaths will continue as long as some take risks.

A bigger problem is the number of autos that drive without headlights as late as 10 p.m. I have even seen cars without their lights on passing patrol cars without getting stopped. The media like to quote the number of accidents as if they all had the same cause, discounting issues such as driving under the influence. How about unbiased reporting for a change, instead of agenda-driven sensationalism?



Honorable officer

To the editor:

Regarding the article on the dog that was killed (“Police: Man kills dog; he ‘wanted to,’” Saturday Review-Journal), I want to thank officer Jacoby Burns for his passionate, sensitive and caring conduct when he tried to save the life of Serenity, the Labrador mix who was the victim of a horrific, torturous and deadly attack by a household member who slit her neck. Officer Burns, please stay close to this case and help prosecute the criminal to the fullest extent of the law. Serenity still needs you.



No Mount Reagan

To the editor:

Kudos to Rep. Dina Titus for scuttling the preposterous idea to name the peak of Frenchman Mountain after Ronald Reagan (Saturday Review-Journal), a man who was nothing if not hostile to the poor, taxpayers, AIDS victims, the rule of law and the environment.



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