Columnist David Brooks suggests some possible reasons for the falloff since 1954 of male labor participation among those in the 25-54 age bracket. (“Men on the wrong side,” July 17).
He argues that this decline may be due in part to “a mismatch between boy culture and school culture, especially in the early years,” as well as a shift in notions of dignity that require, in a communication economy, greater skills in “values expressiveness, interpersonal ease, vulnerability and the cooperative virtues.”
Brooks also believes that men don’t want to put themselves in humiliating positions (such as staying in high school where they feel denigrated or finding work in a place where they are supervised by those who are younger).
There are other factors that may explain much of the decline in workforce participation. At one time, high school dropouts could find jobs in factories; today, it is difficult to do so. Some jobs have probably been eliminated by the substitution of mechanization and robotics for human labor.
Short of changing cultural norms and male notions of dignity, could we do more to introduce apprenticeships and work-study programs in high school in order to ensure that some at-risk students complete their secondary education and thus become more employable?
These programs could also be a stepping stone to employment upon graduation. Such a shift in educational policy would not be a panacea, but it might help to alter the reduction in workforce participation.
Too much time for talk
For our family, cutting out the classical music during daylight hours on WKSU is tantamount to a tragedy. Now it appears we will have talking heads on the radio all day, just like on television. Whoopee!
By the way, if we had wanted a format more in line with Cleveland’s WCPN, we would have been listening to them all these years.
Swimming pool of a planet
I am writing in rebuttal to the July 23 letter “Spirit of an uncreative age,” which was a response to the July 19 letter that castigated the Obama administration for its environmental protection efforts (“Changes in the science”).
The writer of the July 23 letter, the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental groups, President Obama and all the other “tree huggers” are not going to be happy until they force all of our manufacturing jobs out of our county and into the Second World countries.
What will the writer do then to protect the environment? Does he really think that China, India, Pakistan or any of the other Far East countries will implement environmental protection policies?
Every manufacturing job that is forced out of this country by crippling environmental mandates to those countries will not come under any environmental controls.
If the writer, the EPA, all the environmental groups and Obama really want to clean up our world environment, perhaps they should all move to China and force the creation of environmental regulations to clean up the real pollution criminals.
As I see it, the entire planet is like a large swimming pool. If all of us in America get out of the pool to take a bathroom break and the Far East countries just do it all in the pool, do our actions really clean up the pool?
I do agree with the latter part of the July 23 letter, about the dumbing down of America. I remember when our kids were smart and our phones were dumb.
Time for change in the Falls
I moved to Cuyahoga Falls from Akron almost 38 years ago because my old neighborhood was going down hill. I was concerned about crime, the schools, upkeep of homes and property values and noise in the old neighborhood.
The Falls was a very desirable community, where these problems were almost nonexistent. It continued to be a great community for many years, but in recent years it’s starting to seem more like my old neighborhood.
Now I see vacant, unkempt homes, too many poorly maintained rental homes and read about drug busts, robberies and break-ins. I see poorly maintained streets and parks.
I would like to live out the rest of my life in a community like the Falls used to be.
Mayor Don Robart has been mayor of the Falls for over 27 years. This decline has come on his watch. I think he did a good job in the early years, but I think he has taken his eye off the things that the city should do to remain strong and viable.
He has gotten too involved in questionable projects like the State Road redevelopment, at the expense of dealing strongly enough with neighborhood problems.
He has also become involved with supporting questionable tea party activities. In short, he has dropped the ball on keeping the Falls a strong, family-centered community.
He has been mayor for too long; it’s time for a change.
Don Walters is the type of person we need for mayor. He understands that strong, safe, well-kept neighborhoods are critical to the future of Cuyahoga Falls.
He will strike a better balance between these neighborhood and community values and economic development. He will bring fresh ideas and direction to managing the city and using its resources to protect and serve the community.
A better balance between quality of life issues and economic development, will make our city more desirable to job creators.
Dennis P. Brinton
What Zimmerman did not do
Regarding the July 19 letter “What about Martin’s fear?”: I could not agree more. Trayvon Martin was scared of George Zimmerman.
The other thing that disturbs me is the fact that Zimmerman never told Martin who he was, never said “neighborhood watch,” and never said why he was following him.
If Zimmerman had said that he wondered where Martin lived or who he was visiting, that is all it would have taken. The terrible tragedy would never have happened.
The only time I heard anyone ask Zimmerman why he didn’t tell Martin who he was and why he was following him was a female officer in the interrogation room.
I don’t think Zimmerman gave her an answer, and we all know how that ended for Martin. I felt so sad that this young man had to die when all he did was go to the store for some snacks that night.
The “law,” the “jury,” somebody got it wrong.
Obamacare and public safety
While people are running around trying to find insurance or a second or third job, I just want to inform readers about a possibly overlooked aspect of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
I am a firefighter at a department that has an all part-time staff of about 25 people. We provide emergency medical service and fire protection around the clock, seven days a week.
Even though our stations are staffed 24 hours a day, we are not offered insurance due to our part-time status. With the Affordable Care Act being implemented, each firefighter will only be able to work one 24-hour shift per week.
We will not have enough people to cover all of the shifts when the law takes effect. This will greatly affect the level of care that we are able to provide to our residents.
Providing insurance to all of our firefighters so that we can maintain our service to the public is out of the question due to high costs. We simply cannot afford it. What do we do?
If any firefighters go over their allotted hours, the department will be fined $2,000 per person.
If we keep staffing our department in our current manner, we are looking at a $50,000 fine each year, which is ridiculous.
If we look to hire more people, it will be hard to find anyone who only wants to work one day a week. I know the Affordable Care Act will benefit many people, but I believe that when this law was passed, voters failed to recognize the impact it would have on public safety.
Once put into motion, we will not be able to respond to more than one emergency at a time most days. This leaves our residents at risk. There needs to be an exemption of some sort for all public safety workers.
Otherwise, when you call 911, you may need to leave a message.
An election prediction
The immigration bill being cut to pieces in the “House of Republicans” will ensure that a Democrat will be elected president in the next election, even with Republicans using shenanigans to try to stifle the turnout of poor and ethnic voters.
James J. Kizak