When I was a college student in 1964, the annual tuition was about $600 per year. That represented 480 hours of work at $1.25 an hour, the minimum wage earned from a part-time job. By working 15 to 20 hours a week, I paid tuition and graduated debt-free.
Fast-forward to 2013. Annual tuition at that same school is $24,000 per year. If I were now a student earning the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, I would have to work over 63 hours a week to cover tuition. Since that would be virtually impossible, I would have to take out loans.
It's no wonder graduates are saddled with debt these days. Is the minimum wage too low? Is college tuition too high? Obviously, the relationship of minimum wage to the overall economy is fraught with inequities. Instead of intelligent debate, we get nothing but producers, consumers and politicians arguing their own hidebound interests. We're all losing in a debt-ridden economy out of kilter from top to bottom with everybody shouting at everyone else. Socialist dreams have become nightmares.
BOB MILLER, Signal Mountain
There is the right way and the wrong to handle violence. David Cook, in his typical way of showing his self-righteous indignation, felt the need to point out the obvious. Of course police are trained to control violent criminals with a certain amount of restraint. Usually, when a situation spins out of control there are serious consequences. In this case, a criminal was seriously injured and the officers were fired. However, this does not rise to the level of critiquing the police department as a whole. Cook correctly points out how they are trained. In fact, he actually attempted to describe the outdated Use of Force Continuum, which was designed to have a ready and measured response to any act of violence. Unfortunately, things don't always work out like they are supposed to. Imagine if these officers had followed Cooks "Untouchables" reference and shot the knife wielder?
I don't condone excessive force, but I do condemn journalists who keep searching for the next Rodney King incident to express their outrage.
Littlefield has no shame, and Chattanooga deserves the nickname of "Little Chicago."
During the recall people said it was bad publicity for Chattanooga. What about all the cronyism appointments Littlefield is trying to force down the throats of the taxpayers before he leaves office? All these people are being given jobs and benefits the taxpayers will be paying for many years to come. Are they really even qualified for the jobs they are being slotted into? Time for a complete audit of all city departments.
What will the incoming mayor of Chattanooga do about this disgraceful display of cronyism at its worst?
I wish our politicians and radio blowhards, and the people who believe their scare tactics, would learn what an entitlement really is. It is not a bad word, so quit trying to convince people that it is. If you pay into something such as Social Security, Medicare, pension plans, 401(k)'s, savings accounts, etc., than you are entitled to receive what you have been promised when paying into these accounts. You should not be threatened with cuts or anything different than that agreement.
Now, lets talk about people who truly are not entitled to anything: an able-bodied person receiving welfare, a girl or woman receiving money simply for having one child after another, other countries getting money that we supposedly don't have, especially ones that hate us. Last but not least politicians who are not doing their jobs. The first step to a solution for all of this is not re-elect any incumbent who perpetually keep us in this mess, which means both parties. It's ironic that politicians who have been representing us for decades keep blaming someone else for our problems.
JACK PINE, Dunlap, Tenn.
I was stunned, appalled and disgusted when I read the front page story about Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond's comments about the "first black president." I was stunned because I would not expect an elected law enforcement official to utter such nonsense. I don't know if he believes that the fear of crime in the community is attributed to our having a black president. But I do know that for him to say that publicly tells us a lot about him and his fitness to head the office of sheriff of Hamilton County.
We all have a First Amendment right to be stupid. However, we don't have to re-elect Mr. Hammond as sheriff. We need someone in that office who can be a healer rather than someone who will divide to conquer. Did I hear someone say "Chief Bobby Dodd"?
JAMES WALTON, Hixson
Has the Second Amendment conflated into the Second Commandment? Has the assault weapon become an idol that we worship?
We need to understand the words of the Constitution and reason between the founders and our citizens today.
Is a "well regulated Militia" now a National Guard unit? If I own an assault weapon, should I register that weapon and myself with that local unit and attend training exercises? The "Militia" and "the right of the people" are the subjects of this one sentence. "Being necessary to the security of a free state" is a participle phrase modifying "Militia."
In terms of security, the difficult legal question is how does the juvenile court share information with the schools? How does the flow of information travel through mental health professionals and counselors? Who processes reports on bullying when a child does not measure up to false cultural scripts of society? Where do police departments fit in this information equation? What is the role of parents and teachers?
We need well-regulated gun laws. The gun industry and the legislature are a marketplace in need of control.
KEMMER ANDERSON, Signal Mountain