The Nov. 19 letter, “Question of affluence,” lists the communities in Summit County that voted for Mitt Romney and says the less affluent ones voted for President Obama.
The writer then asks: “Why would you expect the Democratic Party to do anything to make you more affluent if more affluent people tend to vote Republican?”
My husband and I wondered if the writer realizes that many Obama voters are affluent, educated and living in the same communities that went for Romney. We know some well.
Our question for those who vote Republican is: Is it because you want to “take back the country”?
Where did it go? Are you happy with low wages and no benefits? How can you ever make a decent living? Look for trickle down? We all know it doesn’t happen.
Concerned about immigration? This country is a nation of immigrants. We’re all pro-life, but the Republicans don’t want to support the unwanted, neglected and needy children. Democrats do.
Incidentally, many Obama voters never forgot their humble beginnings, and how the policies of the Democratic Party helped them get an education, succeed and become affluent, but not Republican.
We feel that a government of the people should have different expectations from the affluent. People end up wealthy, middle class or poor not simply because of their effort; other factors contribute.
That’s why President Obama and many others who went from rags to riches still vote for Democrats. Money doesn’t just come from working hard, it comes from inheritance, not paying taxes, cheating others of fair wages, winning the lottery, lawsuits, and even from living like a miser.
The truth is, regardless of wealth, education, religion and ethnic background, we vote for Democrats because we believe in inclusion and equality.
Republicans are big on the military, gun ownership, wars, tax breaks for the wealthy, less education for minorities, voter suppression, no unions and broken promises of job creation. We paid attention to those damaging, arrogant comments and the stonewalling of every proposal put forth by the president to jump start the economy.
We know that was a shock to the Republicans, especially those misled by Fox News, Karl Rove and others, that President Obama was re-elected, but it’s time to move on. Affluent or not, the American people may never again be able to elect a Republican president, unless a new Republican Party emerges with ideals and agendas more in tune with this century’s America. We can never go back to anything, only forward.
Bill and Dora Raymond
Bring the troops home
Many thanks to Richard M. Thompson for his excellent Nov. 29 letter, “Message of the election.”
The only thing I would add is that the majority opinion is to bring our troops home right now, not to wait any longer.
Most of us do not want our troops fighting any more wars. It’s a huge waste of human life and resources.
War doesn’t buy security; it makes the world more dangerous for us (and the people we bomb and kill).
Drone warfare should be stopped, too. How cowardly it is to drop bombs from a drone.
Donna R. Schall
Mismanagement at Hostess
I’m writing regarding the Nov. 25 commentary by George Will of the Washington Post (“Digesting the lessons from the Twinkies crisis”) on the demise of Hostess. It’s another classic case of blaming the victims.
I had no problem with his article, until the very last sentence, where he states that: “And whatever else unions should do, they should not put employers out of business.”
I have a news flash for Will: Unions didn’t put Hostess out of business, incompetent management did.
With a click of the mouse attached to his computer, he could have accessed a few business websites just as easily as I have to get the real reason Hostess is going out of business.
Its problems are due to terrible management decisions during the past decade. The company bought up too many bakeries around the country, presently owning 36, with over 500 distribution centers.
To pay for its spending spree, the company overleveraged to the tune of $850 million. The economic downturn, coupled with a substantial increase in the price of sugar and the public’s changing eating habits, caused a considerable decline in its business, to the extent that it could no longer pay the debt.
That forced Hostess into yet another bankruptcy, in January. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop the company from rewarding the same top one dozen executives who ran the company into the ground, with up to an 80 percent wage hike prior to the latest Chapter 11 filing.
Hostess is being controlled by a couple of Bain-style vulture capitalist firms and hedge funds that specialize in buying the debt of distressed companies at a considerable discount.
They have been trying to sell off the assets of Hostess for a couple of years, since the sum of its parts are more valuable than the whole. It seems they finally succeeded.
With the shamefully shoddy journalism prevalent today, if the employees of brokerage houses and banks would have belonged to a union, no doubt the meltdown of Wall Street a couple of years ago would have been blamed on the unions, too.
After all, when did anyone ever hear of a group of executives of a failed business admit that they screwed up big time? Isn’t it always the fault of something or someone else?
Listen, learn, then decide
We are all Americans and should want what is best for our country. We should believe that no one has the market cornered on knowledge; someone else may have a better idea or path to achieve a goal.
We should listen to others and not choose to listen to only those who have the same ideas as we do. We should seek other opinions and ideas, as they may help make our ideas better or be better than our ideas, period. We should keep an open mind.
To use an example, let’s look at the much-debated stimulus package. Many said it worked; many said it didn’t. One thing is for certain, we do not know for a fact what would have happened had it not been tried.
We cannot go back in time, then compare the two outcomes. We can only conjecture. People insist on saying the fact is we would have been better off without it. That is not a fact; it is only conjecture.
It seems too many people only listen to what they want to hear and then condemn, often in very harsh terms, those who have different ideas or believe in different things.
Listen and seek out other ideas and opinions, keep an open mind and then decide. Don’t listen to only those who condemn others and claim they know the truth.
Opinion is not fact, although if said often enough and loud enough, some people seem to believe it is.
Threat to the neighborhood
In June 2012, the Stow Planning Commission tried to shove a zoning change (R3 residential to C3 commercial) down the throats of the residents of Thorndale Avenue. The change would have allowed Ron Marhofer to decimate three residential properties and turn the land (and a substantial portion of the neighborhood) into a parking lot.
The plan was reluctantly tabled when an ordinary citizen of Stow (and resident of Thorndale Avenue) actually took the time to read the Stow zoning codes, only to discover that car dealerships are not permitted to operate in C3 (they require a more restrictive C5 code).
Now the Stow Planning Commission wants Stow City Council to change the text to allow car dealerships to operate in C3.
This change would pave the way (no pun intended) for Marhofer to convert this lovely, old, quiet, tree-filled neighborhood into a brightly lighted asphalt wasteland filled with parked cars.
How nice; there goes the neighborhood. Pandora’s Box is about to opened in Stow. Loosening the zoning codes will do far more than cause irreparable damage to this neighborhood, it will threaten all Stow neighborhoods and all residents of Stow.
Aside from the near blunder that the Stow Planning Commission made back in June, this measure is completely contrary to Stow’s Comprehensive Plan, a plan which claims to maintain the integrity and character of Stow’s neighborhoods.
Asphalt, concrete, bright lights and lack of trees does not sound like “character” in a neighborhood where the majority of homes are close to 80 years old or 90 years old.
At what point does a city draw the line between the value of resident’s properties and the interests of a business owner?
Apparently in Stow, the point is drawn at the property line of 1961 Thorndale Avenue, a home in a peaceful, quiet, tree-filled old neighborhood of modestly priced homes with decent property values.
Well, once upon a time it was.
Mark G. Ryland