published Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Letters to the Editors

Economic stats favor Democrats

Conservatives insist the economy always fares better under Republicans. But since 1948, economic growth has averaged 2.75 percent during 36 years under Republicans and 4.01 percent for 27 years under Democrats.

Under George W. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, GDP growth averaged a puny 2.2 percent. Under Lyndon Johnson, the quintessential "tax-and-spend" Democrat, growth averaged a healthy 5.4 percent. This Republican poppycock sounds like Reagan's "voodoo economics," a term coined by George H.W. Bush during the 1980 primary campaign.

Economics, called the "dismal science," is probably more akin to religion than science anyway. Based more on faith than fact, it should be taught in theological seminaries rather than schools of business. Economics shares many elements with religion: a supernatural power, Adam Smith's "unseen hand," a plan of salvation through deregulation and privatization, an order of saints -- Malthus, Smith, Keynes, Friedman -- and evangelists spreading the supply-side gospel based on the Laffer (laughable) curve.

Democratic administrations also lead in other economic measurements such as employment, productivity, stock market performance, real weekly earnings and inflation control. Do the Republicans lead in any economic measurements? Yes; greater income disparity between the highest and lowest and more families living below the poverty level.

GEORGE B. REED JR.

Rossville, Ga.



To EPB: Get your act together

Can someone tell me what is going with EPB's gig?

Why have they been given over $100 million in grants, our taxpayer money.

Internet speeds are fast enough without having to pay. And the rates are outrageous. EPB raised power rates nearly 9 percent after the April storms with the assurance they would come back down, but now they will raise rates another 2.8 percent in December. And now this smart-meter issue. They need to get their act together.

FRANK PETERSON



Time for Littlefield to walk away

Throughout history we have learned from our leaders that sometimes you must give up a battle. I feel it is time for Ron Littlefield to give up his reign while he can still exit with some dignity.

Ron Littlefield will not be remembered as a great Public Works commissioner or as a good mayor. Littlefield will forever be known for trying to silence the people of Chattanooga and trying to take away their right to vote.

Littlefield used his office to drain property owners with extraordinary property taxes. I feel that Ron Littlefield should take time to reflect on his career and then decide to walk away from this battle.

JEFF WEBB



Hotel does its part to welcome soldier

I'd like to commend The Sheraton Atlanta Hotel for hosting a surprise party this past weekend for a soldier home on leave. It's nice to know that in these times of corporate culpability that some giants truly fulfill their roles and reach out to the public and more importantly to our men and women in uniform. The party was for Sgt. Michael Watson, of Dalton, Ga.

I am a member of the rock group The Unsatisfied. Earlier, Sgt. Watson contacted us during his second deployment, asking how he could get our music. A shipment of CDs and other items was sent to Sgt. Watson and the 18th Infantry. We stayed in touch and became friends.

Heather, the sergeant's wife, contacted us a few weeks ago to say they'd be in Atlanta Thanksgiving weekend and wanted to set up a surprise meet and greet with Sgt. Watson. With a couple of phone calls the good people in the Sheraton marketing department gave us the use of the hotel's Fandangle's Lounge. The staff couldn't have been more accommodating to us and Sgt. Watson's family.

Thank you, Katie and The Sheraton Atlanta staff.

DOUG BALES



Schools' reactions to allergies lacking

Am I the only person who wonders when the school board is going to get to doing the job they have been elected to do? If they just want to play politics, there are plenty of other offices available.

I have a beautiful and extremely intelligent granddaughter, who will never be able to attend public school the way it is now. She has a life-threatening allergy to tree nuts. No, she does not just break out in a red rash. She goes into anaphylactic shock, which means she can quit breathing and die.

The public school system's answer to this is just put all the children with allergies together. Along with the fact that this is dangerous, consider the social stigma attached.

Are children not disciplined by putting them in "time out," which separates them from the other children?

How do I answer my granddaughter when she asks what she did wrong? When you are only 6 years old, as she is, this is pretty confusing.

Her parents will sacrifice whatever is necessary to put her in private school because they love her no matter what hardship is involved. We will all continue paying our taxes.

CARROLE REDDEN

Soddy-Daisy



State's senators blocking agency

Some folks decry "big government," and doubtless big government can be inefficient, but it isn't "the bogeyman" as many believe. Ideally, government is a body of citizens cooperating to "promote the general welfare" through rule of law. Anyone thinking a small, weak government is ideal, should go live in Somalia for a year and see how they like it.

Corruption, not bigness, is the thing to automatically fear in government. Consider the new financial reform law aimed at curbing the Wall Street flim-flam schemes that caused our present mess. This law establishes a long-overdue Consumer Financial Protection Agency to stop abusive credit/debit card shenanigans, require clarity in consumer contracts, and reign in predatory pay-day-loan crooks. Who could oppose this? Tennessee's two filthy-rich senators, that's who. Wall Street lobbyists with wads of money inundated Congress, attempting to kill or emasculate the new law. Corker and Alexander fell in and marched lock-step. The law passed, but now our two "representatives" have vowed to block the appointment of anyone to head the agency. Whose interests do they represent? Is this corruption?

THOMAS RODGERS

Dayton, Tenn.



Don't give space to propaganda mill

Re: Social Security a Ponzi scheme?

That's the claim made by Amy Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy Research (Perspective, Nov. 27). An impressive title, or would be until one learns what the editors of the Times Free Press failed to tell us: Ridenour's organization is a self-described "conservative think tank," which is not only an oxymoron but nothing more than a corporate-funded right-wing propaganda mill.

The NCPPR got over $2.5 million -- funneled to various conservative organizations -- from Jack Abramoff, who was on their board of directors until 2004 when his own Ponzi scheme was exposed.

Giving print space to such obviously corrupt and biased organizations is not only deceptive, but a serious violation of what journalistic ethics you might subscribe to -- if any.

SCOTT MOCK

Blairsville, Ga.



Paterno analogy not appropriate

Re: "School overreacted toward Paterno" (letter, Nov. 27). The analogy of a stolen tire, a misdemeanor, comparing it with a purported pedophiliac action, a major felony, is inappropriate.

These types of acts do irreparable damage to a child's well-being. This probably wasn't the only child, and if this had been the first, what if they had stopped the perpetrator then?

If the tire had been taken at gunpoint, also a felony, I am sure that the employee would have done more than just inform a supervisor.

Joe Paterno would have known if his assistant was called in for questioning by a police agency. This apparently didn't happen.

He should then have taken additional action, even if local law only requires that step to be taken.

We need to protect our children from this and other actions that not only rob them of their childhood, but also in many cases scar them for life.

As Marc Antony said in his soliloquy, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."

Joe Paterno obviously did a lot of good in his life. It is a shame this event not only damaged a child, but will have detrimental ramifications on a legacy.

WAYNE MAILLIARD

Soddy-Daisy

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