I suppose one could characterize the appearance on April 24 of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan’s excellent letter on the shortcomings of the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (“Keep the president off the fast-track”) and the article about Goodyear’s planned tire production plant in Mexico as ironic, serendipitous or merely an amusing coincidence (“Goodyear heading for Mexico”).

It is reasonable to imagine that, given enough decades, free trade proponents will be correct that more global trade is somehow better for everyone. Just as long as we’re all in on the corollary that industrial jobs will all be located wherever the lowest wages prevail. And that the standard of living that so many of us have enjoyed in this country will continue to be downsized significantly in the bargain, thereby reducing our materialism.

When I was arguing against the North American Free Trade Agreement in Jerry Brown’s “We the People” campaign, I made the point that not too many Detroit-manufactured Camaros would be purchased by workers south of the border making a dollar an hour.

In 1968, a young man in Akron earning around $3.50 an hour could buy a brand new muscle car with 1,000 hours in wages. That simple economic metric translates to about $35 an hour in 2015.

Just a few short years after I bought my new, blue Dodge, I was installing pneumatic control lines on Goodyear’s then state-of-the-art automatic tire building machine in Akron. When I asked one of the engineers which plant the new machines were going to, thinking perhaps Plant 2 on Martha Avenue, I was told they would be going to a plant in the South.

That was, we now know, the tip of the “globalization” spear.

There was no way that workers making $12 an hour then were ever going to compete with ones earning half that much. Just as no workers in the U.S. now who might ever want to buy a new car or own their own home will ever be able to compete with those who just want shoes for their children’s feet.

Jim Walker

Massillon

For the students ?in Coventry

Parents must get to the polls and vote for the Coventry schools on Tuesday. They should not sit by idly while a coalition of negative, wealthy people (many new to the area) ruins a great school district.

I’m sure parents love their kids and want them to have a good education. This renewal levy generates no new taxes. It’s the status quo, what taxpayers have always paid.

Parents should not let the levy fail and see children lose physical education, music, after-school activities and middle school sports, as well as excellent teachers.

They should close their ears to C-STAL, whose members only want what’s best for themselves and their wallets. Instead, parents should value their children, schools and community and vote for the Coventry schools.

It’s the right thing to do.

Patti Jo Freeder

Lake Township

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired Coventry teacher.

For the Barberton ?library levy

The Barberton Public Library offers opportunities for education, relaxation and inspiration. You are allowed to be yourself. You are allowed to explore, to learn or to play. Our library brings the community together and reaches out to those who cannot travel or lack transportation.

On any given day, you can walk into the library and see a parent reading to his or her child, a job seeker on a computer, a teen doing homework, or a senior reading the paper by windows that look out over Lake Anna.

All of these people have something in common: They know the value of the library. They know that our library is one of Barberton’s biggest strengths. It offers us a connection to our community, to our friends and to our family.

The library levy is Issue 9 on the Tuesday ballot. I strongly encourage you to pass Issue 9 to support your local library.

The Rev. Vic Myers

Co-chair

Barberton Public Library Levy Committee

Barberton

Election-year ?‘end run’

I love the library.

But I think my grandfather, a member of the Akron-Summit County Public Library board during the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, would probably be upset. He’s rolling over in his grave at Rose Hill cemetery.

There comes a time in a community when political entities need to talk to one another about their financial needs and their wish lists. That communication is not occurring.

The library board decided to do an “end run” around the voters and have an expensive special election on Tuesday. With an anticipated 10 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot, the library will have its levy approval and its increase in property taxes.

I might as well be whistling in the wind, but a point needs to be made.

The county needed a sales tax increase for public safety. And in its wisdom, the issue was on the ballot during the November 2014 general election. Enlightened? Yes. The outcome? Unfortunate.

Now the library comes before the voters. A renewal? Yes. A tax increase? No.

If the library issue fails on Tuesday, it will be back in November. And that is appropriate. Let a larger pool of voters decide.

There is a cast of individuals responsible for this “end run,” but now, the real power rests in the individual voter’s hands.

There is a larger picture we need to consider. Community needs are great, but what can we afford to give all those political entities knocking on our door?

David McCann

Akron

Closed about ?open enrollment

Taxpayers of the Coventry school district, please understand that almost one-third of the students who attend our schools do not live in our district. No other school in Ohio has as many open enrollment students. If open enrollment students have a positive financial impact, why don’t other school districts take advantage of it?

Until we have a superintendent and school board who will tell the truth about our finances, we will never get out of fiscal watch. Wasteful spending and the extra large number of open enrollment students are hurting our schools.

Remember, it’s our money that has not been managed properly. Voting against the renewal levy will show the superintendent and the board that we need some real changes that will result in a better education for Coventry residents.

Kathy Finefrock

Coventry Township