Letters to the Editor: June 4, 2014

Fund edu­ca­tion now

Dur­ing my ex­per­i­ence at Stu­dent Lobby Day, I re­ceived mixed re­sponses on the is­sue of ad­di­tion­al fund­ing for high­er edu­ca­tion and Gov. Corbett’s Ready to Suc­ceed Schol­ar­ships. 

When ap­proached with the idea of more fund­ing in high­er edu­ca­tion for middle-in­come fam­il­ies, many le­gis­lat­ors seemed sup­port­ive and afraid of gain­ing a bad im­age by not sup­port­ing something so pos­it­ive. But when you read fur­ther in­to their re­sponses and body lan­guage, it al­most seemed as if they didn’t really care, or that they had big­ger things to worry about. 

It is my fear that le­gis­lat­ors are pay­ing more at­ten­tion to oth­er im­me­di­ate is­sues such as fire­arm con­trol, health­care re­form or budget prob­lems. These is­sues are ar­gu­ably less im­port­ant than edu­ca­tion, but draw a le­gis­lat­or’s at­ten­tion solely on the pop­ular­ity of these is­sues. Also, these is­sues draw the at­ten­tion of le­gis­lat­ors as they are “right now” is­sues and the be­ne­fits to the le­gis­lat­ors can be seen in the near fu­ture.

Ad­di­tion­al fund­ing for edu­ca­tion has many long-term be­ne­fits. Al­low­ing a stu­dent to gradu­ate with less debt will in turn in­crease fu­ture con­sumer spend­ing, provid­ing for a long-term healthy eco­nomy. Debt will res­ult in de­creases in the hous­ing mar­ket, con­sumer-spend­ing mar­ket and the fin­an­cial ser­vice mar­ket. Also, this debt will res­ult in a strain on So­cial Se­cur­ity and oth­er re­tire­ment plan­ning mar­kets. 

The over­all ef­fect of these prob­lems will hit the gov­ern­ment the hard­est due to the gradu­al de­crease of taxes col­lec­ted. Con­sumer spend­ing also af­fects jobs and is key to a healthy eco­nomy. 

I am ex­press­ing my con­cern that le­gis­lat­ors do not look far enough down the road. I am wor­ried that they are seek­ing quick gains and are will­ing to ac­cept long-term con­sequences of not solv­ing oth­er is­sues be­cause they will be someone else’s prob­lem. It will take an eth­ic­al le­gis­lat­or who truly does not care about per­son­al gain, as he or she will not be around to en­joy the be­ne­fits sur­round­ing this is­sue. These char­ac­ter­ist­ics ap­pear rare in our gov­ern­ment, but as this prob­lem es­cal­ates, I be­lieve and hope that our gov­ern­ment will take ac­tion on stu­dent debt be­fore it’s too late.

Gary Masino

Mor­rell Park

Don’t blame labor uni­ons

Tom Stig­lich’s ed­it­or­i­al car­toon on May 14, 2014 is dis­ap­point­ing and mis­lead­ing. Labor uni­ons do not cause a city’s fin­an­cial woes. Uni­on mem­bers are hard­work­ing, provide mul­tiple ser­vices and pay many taxes. 

Rather than den­ig­rate labor uni­ons, Stig­lich should cri­ti­cize what’s truly des­troy­ing Phil­adelphia. The real prob­lems are the 10-year tax abate­ment, cor­por­a­tions who pay little to no taxes, the rich who nev­er pay their fair share, tax dead­beats, whom Nut­ter made a great show of go­ing after for about five minutes sev­er­al years ago, and out-of-town slum-lords. We also have an over­paid City Coun­cil that, dec­ad­ently, nev­er works sum­mers. 

I as­sume Mr. Stig­lich is a work­ing man, yet with his car­toon, he vil­i­fies fel­low work­ers, mak­ing it seem that those of us in uni­ons are mon­sters be­cause we re­ceive a liv­ing wage, paid sick days, va­ca­tion, hol­i­days and re­tire­ment. 

These are ba­sics every em­ploy­ee de­serves, but rather than pro­mote their at­tain­ment for all who must earn a paycheck, once again, the low road was taken by blam­ing mu­ni­cip­al mon­et­ary troubles on uni­on mem­bers.

Maria Farina


Shame, shame, shame

The treat­ment of our vet­er­an her­oes has saddened and en­raged our na­tion. I bring my 5-pound Pom­er­a­ni­an, Foxy, to vis­it some friends at the Delaware Val­ley Vet­er­ans Home. It is an hon­or to be with them. 

The hard-work­ing staff is caring, kind, re­spect­ful and does everything in their power to give our vet­er­ans the best qual­ity of life pos­sible. 

The vo­lun­teers who come in are im­port­ant. More would be wel­come, and are needed. Bur­eau­crats in gov­ern­ment are solely re­spons­ible for the hor­rible neg­lect. The prob­lem could be solved in five minutes by put­ting Pres­id­ent Barack Obama and all gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and their fam­il­ies on the vet­er­an’s list for care. 

Roberta Weiss



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