Who decides exactly what are our ‘basic needs’?

To the editor:

In your recent story “Budget, taxes top concerns,” Diane Fearon is quoted as saying, “The safety net of civilized society requires that basic needs must be met for our citizens.”

What are these “basic needs” that must be met? Who decides what is or is not a “basic need?”

If you asked every person what should be on a list of the services and products that the government should provide, I believe that each person would have a different list and that the total list would be endless.

Some lists would be short and some lists would be very long.

If you asked someone who is a net receiver of government services (gets more than he pays in taxes), would his list be longer than the list of someone who is a net giver (pays more in taxes than he receives)?

Would someone in his 60s have a very different list than someone in his 20s?

We cannot possibly provide everything that everyone needs (much less wants) through the government and ever-increasing taxes. The first thing we need to do is come up with a bare bones prioritized list of what government should provide. Then we can argue about how much funding is enough for each one.

Dorothy Wagner


Need a law

To the editor:

In response to the Wednesday story by the Review Journal’s Arnold M. Knightly (“Bill targets boozing construction workers”):

I could not agree more with Assemblyman Ty Cobb’s proposed legislation. But it is not far-reaching enough. I feel anyone who is affecting the lives of others should be responsible enough not to booze or do drugs or performance-enhancing substances. That goes for medical workers or those employed in automotive building or automotive repair.

The article brought to mind workers employed at a GM plant in Bristol, Conn. I personally knew a lot of men who worked the night shift and drank (a lot) every night while on the job.

People have a responsibility to others to do a job to the best of their ability and with a clear mind. We should not have to have a law mandating responsibility, but if it is the only way to fight a problem, then it is a necessity.

Jim Rideout Sr.


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