Letters to the editor - 2/28/03

February 28, 2003

Pennsylvania needs right-to-work law

To the editor:

Fellow taxpayers and voters of Pennsylvania, you have a great opportunity to help the sluggish business climate in our state.

How, you may ask, can this be done? Remember the expression "The pen is mightier than the sword." Your little note to your legislator telling him or her that you want a right-to-work law in Pennsylvania is just the ticket to success in that endeavor.

First, you'll want to know what is a right to work law? In short, this law would prevent compulsory unionism in the state. It would allow workers to take a job without being forced to join a union.

This, in essence, is a freedom issue. Freedom was an essential part of what this county was founded upon. Next, is this an issue that a majority of the people in this state would accept?


To prove that this is something a majority of voters would approve, a new poll was conducted Jan. 21-Jan. 23. It was commissioned by The Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research Inc., and was produced by Susquehanna Polling and Research, Inc.

The poll surveyed 703 voters in the commonwealth which gave a margin of error of +/-3.70 percent. Those polled were voters (Republicans 43 percent; Democrats 47 percent).

The number one issue of concern for Pennsylvanians was the economy and jobs. Some of the questions posed were:

1. Should unions be forbidden from deducting money from union workers' pay without their permission and using the money for political purposes? (Yes - 73 percent; No - 21 percent).

2. Do you favor or oppose right to work laws whereby a worker cannot be compelled to join or pay fees to a labor union as a condition of employment? (Favor - 62 percent; Oppose - 29 percent).

3. Do you think laws compelling certain state employees pay fees to a labor union, as a condition of government employment should be repealed? (Yes - 62 percent; No - 22 percent).

As you can see, there is a strong wave of opposition to forced unionism. If you want to be part of that opposition, get on board with your note to your legislator quoting some of these poll results. If there is enough opposition to this issue then a right to work law may be established in Pennsylvania; and you as voters will have had a hand in the success for increased business creation and job growth in Pennsylvania!

Mary S. Burkholder

Chambersburg, Pa.

For the thoughtful radio listener, there's always NPR

To the editor:

Dear Leonard Pitts: The answer to your plea for an alternative to the "simplistic, chest-thumping demagoguery" of right-wing radio talk shows has been right under your nose all along.

It's called National Public Radio and it's been around for years. NPR was founded in 1970, and now has 680 public radio stations, plus being accessible from the Internet. Locally, it's at 89.1 FM, WETA. Why, just this week on "All Things Considered" (4 to 6 p.m.), I listened to a debate between scholars who disagree on how - or if - American schools should teach patriotism. The key word in that sentence is "disagree."

If you're looking for a rubber stamp to your own personal ideology (be it conservative or liberal), don't tune in to NPR. Listening tends to open one's mind, not close it. How about interviews with supporters and opponents of Roe vs. Wade on "Morning Edition" (6 to 9 a.m.)? Or yesterday's edition of "Fresh Air" (3 to 4 p.m.) with interviews of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and of Bruce Bartlett who writes a column for the Washington Times.

It was a discussion of the Bush tax cut proposals. But lest you think it's all politics, how about interviews with Kiss band leader, Gene Simmons, actor Kevin Spacey, or Greg Graffin, lead singer of the punk band, Bad Religion. For you really early risers, tune in to the news from the BBC in London at 5 a.m.

Or the hilarious "Car Talk" program and Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" on the weekends.

So, Leonard, tune in to Public Radio and get a "balanced" point of view. And there's still time for reading The Herald-Mail!

Pat Heefner

Waynesboro Pa.

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