Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent online at www.okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.
QUANTIFY THIS Regarding Clifton Adcock’s story “Raising Arizona” (News, Dec. 15, Oklahoma Gazette) in which state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, suggests the state Department of Education quantify the cost of educating the children of illegal immigrants:
I hope that the illegal immigrants in Oklahoma will take this as it is meant:
I propose that every illegal immigrant residing in Oklahoma leave. For this to be truly effective, they need to all leave on a specific date. Let’s pick April 1, 2011.
Then I want the state of Oklahoma to quantify the drop in sales tax revenues, rental vacancies, one-day-only jobs that cannot be filled and all the other menial jobs that are filled by these horrible illegal aliens.
Once it has been demonstrated that the result is a further drop in tax revenue and business income with no discernible drop in crime, who will become the scapegoat?
THE REST OF THE STORY Sometimes adults have to put on their big boy pants, and this is especially true when times get tough. Life isn’t always fair, and some of us have to work harder than others.
Kurt Hochenauer (Commentary, “Poverty picture,” Dec. 1, Gazette) is correct when he says the poverty rate in Oklahoma is a problem. However, he only provided half the information.
The Oklahoma Policy Institute, one of Hochenauer’s sources, stated that poverty in Oklahoma increased from 15.9 percent in 2008 to 16.2 percent in 2009, levels that are still above the national average. The OPI, for pre-recession 2007, indicates that 14.5 percent of those between 18 and 64 live in poverty, and 10.1 percent of those over the age of 65 live in poverty. In 2008, 14.3 percent of those between 18 and 64 lived in poverty, while 10.9 percent of those over the age of 65 lived in poverty. And, in 2009, 15.2 percent of those 18 to 64 lived in poverty, while 9.5 percent of those over 65 lived in poverty.
Why is this important? Because the OPI also breaks down the work status of those 16 years and older during the same time period. In the pre-recession year of 2007, 50.5 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 did not work and 38.6 percent worked part-time. Only 10.9 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 worked full-time. In 2008, 51 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 did not work and 36.6 percent worked part-time. Only 12.4 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 worked full-time. In 2009, 51.8 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 did not work and 36.5 percent worked parttime. Only 11.7 percent of those living in poverty over the age of 16 worked full-time.
Therefore, it appears there is a correlation between one’s poverty rate and one’s employment status. While those figures probably include individuals who cannot work, it includes lots of individuals who have made an active decision to abstain from gainful employment. While an argument can be made for underemployment, nothing stops an individual from seeking an additional job that enables him or her to work 40 or more hours in a week.
Big boy pants, anyone?
CURSES! FOILED AGAIN! Good God, man. Salamanders in Santa Cruz, Calif., are causing Edmond to join the United Nations (Commentary, Robert Semands, “Counterpoint: An internationalist agenda,” Dec. 15, Gazette)? You need to take your tinfoil hats off and stop getting your content from The Onion.
I swear the Gazette is no longer worth the price of “free.”
SOME MORE, SOME LESS …
This is in response to many letters and articles published by my beloved but misguided Gazette.
What’s this over obsession with a distorted attempt at “equality”? Everyone should have equal opportunity for success and equal chance to attain every positive aspect of life this great country can afford! Sure, we should all have equal rights, but, inherently success, wealth, etc. will never be equal. Following Obama’s lead, it seems popular to demonize those who have earned/created/“more” and glorify the idea of having/using/and even being “less.”
Things don’t end up equally spread around in any society — not even socialism or communism — but definitely not with capitalism! Get over it! Some will have more, and some will have less! Some will use more, some less. Some will earn more, some less. Some will eat healthy, some won’t. I don’t hear anyone calling people with “less” lazy bastards.
So why do so many people demonize richer people even to the point of singling them out for tax hikes? Everybody needs to get off of everyone else’s front yards and mind their own business, especially if we really want the economy to improve. Don’t we need more jobs in America? Quick question: How many good-paying middle-class jobs are currently being offered by poor people?
Individual liberty and freedom are dying a rapid death in America right in front of our eyes in the name of “equality.” Some in this country are working to make fast food illegal or at least ban toys from kid meals, force people to purchase financial service products (health insurance), raise taxes on hardworking Americans to spend more on social programs, legislate what kind of vehicle(s) you can drive and how much carbon you may or may not emit!
What’s next? Are you OK with the government telling you what temperature you have to keep your home or how many kids you can have or that you have to pur chase a breast cancer screening rider even if you are a single male? The point is we don’t need to use the government apparatus to regulate everything! Those who believe that any “government” can and should solve all woes need only a North Korean or Iranian vacation to wake them up!
I won’t judge you for riding your bicycle to Akin’s Natural Foods or Forward Foods (which is awesome, by the way) or the soon-to-be mecca, Whole Foods Market, and getting your “sustainable” groceries or “happy” chickens, while I zip by in one of my three Range Rovers (which all three prefer super-premium fossil fuels) while I am eating on my “unhappy” McRib meal as I speed toward wherever it is I may be going.
All I ask in return — for not judging you and telling you how to live your life and calling you names — is for you and our government to back off and quit telling me how to live McMine. Aren’t individual liberty, personal choice, personal responsibility and self-sufficiency still part of the American fabric?
Wright is an Oklahoma City business owner.
GOVERNMENT SHOULDN’T CREATE EQUALITY Socialists desire equality of the citizenry by government means. Why should government attempt to create equality? No government has ever achieved such a goal.
If equality is desired, shouldn’t the individual address it himself? A person is most likely to be a member of America’s middle class simply by graduating from high school, working full-time and marrying before having children. Giving cash (my cash) to the poor has never raised one’s standard of living.
The government has always done one thing well: waste taxpayers’ money.
—Thomas L. Furlong
SIGNIFICANT SIGNS The cities of Oklahoma City, Edmond, as well as others, could help eliminate tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to vehicles and street median divider signs if they would paint curbs facing oncoming traffic with highly visible and reflective white paint. This simple task would greatly aid impaired drivers, older drivers with poor night vision and drivers caught in heavy thunderstorms.
Such an effort would likely pay for itself over a short period of time by helping eliminate the need and expense of replacing signs that are constantly being knocked down, while resulting in reduced car repair expense for the citizens. If the cities are unwilling to undertake a project of this nature, perhaps civic-minded organizations would be willing to do so.
Also, it would help if cities would enforce ordinances that require street addresses to be displayed on every home and business. This would help ensure a more constant flow of traffic and allow drivers to pay more attention to their driving, as opposed to trying to determine where a certain address is located.
Why businesses don’t pay more attention to this situation is beyond me, as on a number of occasions, I have given up on locating them, and gone shopping elsewhere.
Attempts on my part in the past to discuss the above with Oklahoma City officials have been met with a disdainful attitude reserved for those who would have the audacity to suggest an improvement with City Hall!