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Letters to the editor

July 05, 2005

Do we really want to help those in need?


To the editor:

According to the latest statistics, the average life expectancy for the generation born in the early 21st century will be 100 years. This is based on the observation that in 1000 the average life expectancy was 49 years, in 1935, when the Social Security Act was enacted, it was 61 and in 1973 it was 73.

It appears that every 35 years the average life expectancy increased by 12 years. However, in the last 35 years the average expectancy has increased only three years.

Now, before I state the reason why I mentioned this subject, I would like to explain how this average is calculated. It is the sum of the age of each person at the time of death divided by the number of dead. As we know from history, in 1900 young children were dying of many diseases, such as measles, polio, chicken pox and others which are now completely eliminated.

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Death of children at a young age kept the life expectancy low. It is a well-established fact that refrigeration of our food at home are saving many premature deaths. Our drinking water is safer.

Even babies who are born well before their due date can now be saved and have a healthy life. There is not a single piece of scientific evidence that our genes are mutated to give us longer life than the previous generations. I would like to illustrate my point by giving the following example.

Suppose that in a little town there are two families one with income of $10,000 and the other $100,000. The average income is $55,000, and yet there is no such family in town. The use of averaging is a very misleading concept.

So why am I bringing this issue? Because the compassionate conservatives are telling us that the Social Security will be in more trouble as the new generation lives longer. The only way out is to get rid of it.

On June 15, PBS aired a segment on problems associated with The Social Security Trust Fund. One of the proposed solution was to do away with the cap which stands at $90,000. According to one of the professors, removing the cap would indeed solve the problem for decades - and not only seven as Tom Firey is claiming. Rich people in the audience did not favor the idea. Surprise.

It appears that Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted to have no cap, but there was a lot of objections to it. So he relented in order to start the system.

Is it unfair to have a cap? Indeed it is, because a person who earns less than the amount of cap is paying tax on his full income, while a millionaire pays tax with only 10 percent of his income.

This is plain discrimination. There we are. We came full circle to ask the same question. Do we, as a nation, want to provide some sort of a security to those who are less fortunate than most? The answer to this question will determine the future of Social Security and those who rely on it.

S.V. Yumlu

Hagerstown




Ultimately, KKK hates itself most


To the editor:

I would like to conclude that the Ku Klu Klan has netted nothing other than hatred toward its own race in the last 135 years of their existence or founding.

However, these tyrants are nothing but economically depressed whites who feel their failure can be attributed to the black people present in this nation.

In some cases, they are descendants of slaveholders and Indian-killers who are paying for the sins of their forefathers who killed many natives for the sale of their people and prospered off the backs of free labor performed by African slaves who were snatched from their God-given land.

Frankly, I am black and I don't believe that races for the cause of confusion should be integrated. But, because of Europeans, there are blacks in what was formerly Indian land. If there is anyone to blame, it's got to be those members of the white race.

Dimitri Hamilton

Hagerstown




Take a chance; cross the street


To the editor:

Whenever I pose the hypothetical question about what a motor vehicle might do when encountering a pedestrian, I am usually answered with, "Under any circumstances, yield to the pedestrian."

Like on the campus of Providence Theological Seminary, south of Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Yet whenever I cross the street, in the crosswalk, with the traffic signal telling me to cross, my life flashes before my eyes, as the motor vehicle turns either in front of me, or behind me.

I may be a foreign-born American citizen, like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but at least north of the United States, you do not risk your life whenever you cross in the crosswalk.

Gary Milford Norlin IV

Hagerstown

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