There has been a lot of talk lately, both pro and con, concerning right-to-work legislation. It should be called right to work for less.

We all know what the facts are. They are the things that the tea party and Republicans simply refuse to acknowledge. The facts are: In a right-to-work state, you will earn, on average, almost $7,000 less a year.

You are also more likely not to have health insurance. You are 36 percent more likely to die on the job, not just get injured.

Pensions are almost unheard of in right-to-work states, unless you have a contract that provides one. You can be terminated at will.

Unions built the middle class in this country. As wages rose, so did the standard of living. It is not a coincidence that when union membership declined, so did the standard of living for the middle class.

Right-to-work legislation affects all workers, union and nonunion. Strong unions benefit all workers. Can you afford a $7,000 a year pay cut? I can’t. Do you want to leave for work every morning knowing there is a 36 percent higher chance you won’t come home?

These aren’t union statistics. They are from the Congressional Budget Office and the Department of Labor. Right to work weakens a union’s right to better its members, while at the same time allows some to freeload off the backs of those who pay their dues.

How many pay raises do you think you will get if your union is weakened by fewer members? Why do you suppose Honda in southern Ohio pays the good wages it pays?

They do this to keep their workers from organizing. Right to work does not create jobs. Six out of the top 10 highest unemployment rates are in right-to-work states. Right to work is simply union busting. Right to work is wrong for the middle class and wrong for Ohio.

Jack Hefner

President

United Steelworkers Local 2L

Akron

Fed up ?with Washington

In talking to a friend recently, I made the comment that I would not be contributing to any politician’s campaign as long as politicians are playing games and not governing.

President Obama does not know the first rule of economics (demand and supply determine price).

He is unwilling to take responsibility for his job (he allows subordinates to not inform him of actions such as the Internal Revenue Service’s tea-party investigations).

But President Obama is not the real issue.

We need government, not fights. The role of government is to enable people to govern themselves, not to rule the people.

Constant new rules and micromanagement of private matters is not the role of government, yet most of what happens in Washington, D.C., is a hindrance to people’s ability to do what needs to be done.

I am and will continue to be a Republican, but this constant talk about not paying for our government by refusing to pay taxes makes me mad. If there are no taxes, there will be no government.

If that is what conservatives want, then they are beginning to succeed. We need to pay taxes to keep the government going, but we need to receive value for what we pay.

We spend too much time on Benghazi and not enough time on things that matter, such as dealing with the many parts of immigration. There is much posturing on other issues.

I am not willing to pay for non-governance, and I am keeping my money in my pocket until we have some hope of getting governance.

H. Doyle Smith

Canton

Incomplete policy?on discrimination

The shareholders of Cincinnati-based American Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company, voted against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the company’s nondiscrimination policy.

Their actions do not show support for a diverse environment where all customers and employees can feel welcome to participate.

Similar vote results in 2011 earned AFG shareholders praise on the white supremacist site Stormfront, which called the vote “encouraging news.” The ability of AFG to compete in a global marketplace is hindered with policies that condone discrimination.

These actions reflect poorly on U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, whose campaign received over $100,000 in donations from lobbyists for AFG, more than any other corporation.

AFG shareholders voted to continue condoning discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and customers, even though 79 percent of Ohioans and almost 75 percent of Americans oppose such discrimination.

This indicates the need for quick legislative action on bills like the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the state Equal Housing and Employment Act.

A current lawsuit brought against ExxonMobil indicates that the words “We don’t discriminate” mean nothing without action. Providing written and verbal guidance with enumerated policies sets up a company for long-term success.

Mark Szabo

Rocky River

Brushing up ?on conservation

I recently was brushing my teeth when my 7-year-old grandchild walking by said, “You have to turn off the water, Poppa!”

I was gratified that my children were passing along to their children an important understanding about conserving Earth’s natural resources.

I had taught the children, with my wife, of course, that even though we had been blessed with a water planet, two-thirds is salt water.

“Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink,” I had them chanting. They knew that drinkable water was a much smaller resource, and so essential to life.

It had to be kept in its natural state except when needed and returned to nature in as pristine a form as possible. To let it run down the drain along with millions of others brushing their teeth that day was just unthinkable.

I’m not a radical about anything, including environmentalism, but just as millions of separate water drops become the rain, so to are millions of separate efforts required to put the rain safely back to use another day.

Duane L. Doyle

Twinsburg