Children need to get vaccinations
Few parents have any experience with outbreaks of infectious diseases and, thus, are unimpressed with the danger of having unimmunized children (“Schools worry as more parents opt out of vaccinations for kids,” Dec. 6 Eagle). As a student in the class of Jonas Salk, I received his polio vaccine well before its approval. Across the street from the medical school was a large hospital dedicated to polio victims on the iron lung. In addition, there were two tuberculosis hospitals in town, which was the reason I received an injection of a modified TB organism that drained for months. This was to protect the students, because they would be exposed to individuals with active disease.
In the mid-1980s, companies stopped manufacturing vaccines. This was because the trial lawyers were extracting the lifeblood from these companies. In a panic, Congress passed a law that established a separate court to adjudicate whether the vaccine caused harm to the child. A special tax was added to the price of vaccines to fund the awards for injury. The size of the award is defined by the statute. There then arose a widely publicized myth that the mercury used to protect the vaccine from bacterial contamination caused autism.
Today more parents understandably fear that vaccines are dangerous, and they are opting out. We are beginning to see outbreaks of diseases that were previously prevented. The unimmunized child is a danger to both himself and his classmates. We do not need deaths from pertussis and polio to change parents’ minds.
The new dream?
I am confused by the president repeatedly saying that everybody must pay his “fair share.” Does that mean if I earn $10, I must give nine other people $1? Does it mean that the half of Americans who pay no federal income taxes must pony up and pay for the services that they use? Does it mean that only the millionaires and corporations pay taxes and the other 99 percent freeload from their bounty? If I go to the grocery store, do I purchase enough food for the entire neighborhood, or just send the cash to the government and let it buy the food and divide it among those who gave the biggest donation?
I have always thought that all Americans have the opportunity to earn and keep their own share, but I must be wrong. I am not supposed to keep the fruits of my labors, savings and investments, but must share with those who have never seen the need to work hard, save and invest. Is this the new “American dream”?
I have a few ideas about how to lower the unemployment rate. The federal government should penalize big corporations that outsource jobs to lower-wage countries. Make the penalties harsh enough that it is cheaper to bring the work back to the United States to avoid penalties, and bar companies from passing the cost of penalties on to the consumer.
It is virtually impossible to speak to a “live” representative when calling a customer-service number, and often the computer voice does not give an option that fits the question or problem I’m experiencing. Laws should be passed that give consumers immediate access to a representative. This should create new jobs in most companies.
We now have the privilege of scanning, sacking and carrying our groceries to our cars. How long will it be before cashiers disappear? I refuse to use self-checkout and hope others will, too.
No local firm?
Why, when the political rhetoric is all about jobs, is the city of Wichita contracting with an outside firm to do the billing for its alarm program? I was told it’s because there are 40,000 customers.
Really? No one in Wichita is equipped to handle this astronomical number?
Wichita drivers OK
As a former Wichita resident, I want to state for the record that Wichita drivers are not bad drivers. I drive in San Antonio traffic every day, and I now know fear.
Wichita folks might want to stop complaining about folks hogging the left lane at the speed limit, as the Canal Route and Kellogg are just side streets compared with San Antonio traffic.