Letters to the Editor on declining wages, casino, Mideast violence, Obama’s record, objections board, voter registration, fluoride

09/16/2012 12:00 AM

09/15/2012 7:36 PM

Cheap foreign labor hurts middle class

It’s no surprise that wages are declining for Kansans (Sept. 13 Eagle), as they are for the middle class across this country.

It’s a trend that began decades ago as manufacturers left this country for cheap labor, and our education system stopped teaching our kids how to work with their hands and started teaching them to tests that will do them little good. A few highly educated kids will always have job opportunities, but the vast majority of our middle- and lower-middle-class kids have to compete with a world where people are treated like cattle in the countries where most of the manufacturing takes place.

The making of the iPhone is a perfect example. It retails for between $100 and $600, depending on the plan and how you buy it, but it is put together in China (albeit with parts from all over the world, including the USA) for about $8. Apple’s profit margins are through the roof – as is its executive compensation – while the people who put together their phones are housed in dormitories, separated from their families for months at a time, and making about $17 a day.

Those are conditions no American would stand for, and for wages none of us can live on.

That’s what the middle class is up against and why we are falling fast.

KATHLEEN BUTLER

Wichita

Stories linked

The front page of Thursday’s Eagle featured two interesting articles.

One explained how the Kansas Star Casino has exceeded all income forecasts by generating more than $15 million per month.

The adjacent article explained that in Kansas, “more state residents are living in poverty than any time in the past three decades.”

Anybody else out there capable of drawing the obvious conclusion?

MIKE MACKAY

Mulvane

Muslim’s prayer

As a Muslim, I strongly condemn the attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya and Egypt, and mourn the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and his team. I understand the people in these and other countries are upset about the film produced in America that is disrespectful to Prophet Muhammad. I also understand that Stevens worked very hard with the opposition in Libya to help get rid of Moammar Gadhafi, and he was widely liked and appreciated by many Libyans.

I pray that we will not see an attack of any sort on Americans overseas. I hope the newly elected democratic governments in Libya and Egypt will bring those who are responsible to justice quickly.

There is no good reason for violence against anyone. We are keeping their families in our prayers.

NAZIR JESRI

Wichita

Look at record

Yet another left-leaning cartoon in The Eagle depicted a caricature of President Bush holding a sign upside down asking, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” (Sept. 8 Opinion).

Let’s look. In the course of this administration, gas prices have more than doubled. Basic grocery costs are up 25 percent. Utility costs are up 20 percent or more. Millions more homes have undergone foreclosure. Millions more people are out of work. Many more are now underemployed. Nearly half the population pays no income tax whatsoever. Medical costs, for those who actually pay them, are out of control. Family income is down 15 percent. You have fewer dollars and can buy less with them.

The number on public subsistence has nearly doubled to half the population. We remain mired in a useless war and spend billions to keep sea lanes open to protect our insatiable need for foreign oil. Our national debt is up by more than $5 trillion and will soon bring us to our knees.

If you still are employed and living in your home and this administration is re-elected, there is a very good chance that you will not be in four years.

The Democrats say the administration inherited a mess. If I could turn back the clock, I would gladly take that mess.

STEVE OCHSNER

Goddard

Kobach again

It never ceases to amaze me just how far those on the right will go in order to show the world just how bigoted and racist we can be. Last week another challenge was made in the state of Kansas questioning President Obama’s right to be on the ballot because his father was not born in the United States. A panel of three Republican “leaders,” led by political crime fighter Kris Kobach, decided it needed to ponder this difficult situation. Never mind that the same argument could by tried against Mitt Romney, as his father was born in Mexico.

Wouldn’t it be quicker for Kobach and his minions just to outlaw the entire Democratic Party?

DANNY CLEMMER

Wichita

Wasteful delay

So the State Objections Board decided it needed to delay putting President Obama on the ballot while it determined whether or not he is a citizen (Sept. 14 Local & State). If Congress and other states have satisfactorily answered that question, why should we have to worry about it?

I guess the fact that his mother was a citizen and from Wichita escapes many people. His birth certificate has been released, and we are just rehashing old news that has been proved false more than once. Maybe we can think of other ways to waste the state’s money.

KEEL MIDDLETON

Wellington

Not essential

“I’ve taken up smoking. My doctor says I’m not getting enough tar in my diet,” Steve Martin has joked.

Of course, no doctor recommends smoking, much less taking “tar,” right? So how many of us have had a doctor tell us, “You need more fluoride. Here’s a prescription for it”? Anyone?

Actually, nobody has, because natural fluoride is not essential to overall health. If having fluoride in nearly all brands of toothpaste hasn’t done the job of eliminating cavities, what purpose is served by pouring “fluoride” into the rest of our bodies?

Where’s this “fluoride” come from, any way? I know I’m not going to put it in my mouth.

I see the campaign to contaminate our water with a nonessential element as a waste of effort and a huge waste of money. It would be far better to focus on general health, diet and hygiene if you really want to stamp out cavities.

EMILY BONAVIA

Wichita

Register now

On Nov. 6, the U.S. will hold probably the most important election we have ever had. The big question is whether this country should be run by the federal government or by “we the people of the United States” through our elected officials in Washington, D.C.

We have a major problem, in that only about half of eligible voters cast their votes on Election Day, and those who do not vote are apt to be most vocal when it comes to being dissatisfied with those elected. Had these people voted, the results may have been much more acceptable.

Those not registered – either because they have never done so or because of change of address or name – can register until Oct. 16, and can pick up the information and forms at their county clerk’s or election commissioner’s office.

Some people think that politics is immoral and therefore do not want to participate. There are also those Christians who feel that participating in politics, either by becoming a candidate or by voting, is contrary to their Christian beliefs. I wonder which Bible or interpretation they are reading.

We have the privilege of selecting those who write the laws and rules we are to follow.

I pray that those of you who are not registered will do so by Oct. 16 and will accept the privilege and responsibility on Nov. 6 given us by God through the Constitution.

Remember – voting is a privilege many people in other countries do not have.

SIGURD S. DAEHNKE

Winfield

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