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What Do You Think?

November 18, 2007

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site, www.herald-mail.com. Readers also may submit comments about the poll question when voting. Each Sunday, a sampling of edited reader comments will run in The Herald-Mail.

Last week's poll question was: Of the reasons Anirban Basu, economic forecaster and comedian, listed for a sluggish economy, which one do you think has had the biggest effect on Washington County?

"This brilliant man should be governor!! He will tell you quickly why IT DOES matter if the Democrats or Republicans run the economy. One example he uses is the cost of union benefits in car manufacturing. Right now, the price of an American automobile contains within it the cost of health insurance for workers. In other parts of the world, like Germany, that cost is not within the price of an automobile. Therefore, the U.S. can't compete on a level playing field. How ... can you compete when 15-20 percent of the price of a car is sunk into UNION benefits?"

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"Two words sum it all up. CORPORATE GREED! If the companies weren't making scads of money over the years, they wouldn't have been able to give the unions good benefits. Don't blame the working man. Their CEOs get millions when they retire, but they want the peons to foot the bill."

"Mr. Anirban Basu has listed 1. High Gas prices, 2. A Weak Dollar, 3. The Housing Slump, 4. The Trade Deficit. He dodged to mention two wars which are costing the USA billions of dollars."

"Corporations fail because of poor management. Workers do not manage revenues. I like the hypocrites, who will work for a company because of good pay and benefits, but they don't want to be in the union that negotiated for the benefits."

"Corporate executives make far too much money and the best is they get bonuses even in years their companies fail to meet expectations. It is a good ole boys network where the Board of Directors, which are SUPPOSED to keep the officers of a company in check, do nothing of the sort. However, I still think oil is the number one reason. If the price of everything costs more to transport, obviously this is going to have an economic impact on us. When we all have to pay so much more for gas for our vehicles and every business has to do the same in order to transport goods as well as heating and cooling our homes and businesses, we obviously are going to have a huge negative impact on the economy from it."

"My employer will not hire you if you are not qualified to do the job!! The majority of the engineers employed here are FOREIGNERS!! The pool of qualified American workers is deplorable for technical jobs!! Business are directly affected by the quality of workers!! You can't give OJT to an electrical or a mechanical engineer. Business won't wait for Americans to get properly trained. They will hire foreign workers who have the qualifications."

"I believe this upcoming election will be critical to how the economy will turn. Unfortunately, fuel costs will continue to rise, the oil industry is hobbling along in need of a major overhauling (improved refineries, modernized infrastructure, etc.) It will likely hit the $5 per gallon mark before we seriously look for alternative fuels like hydrogen cell technology!! That's the way America works - wait 'til a crisis THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT."

"I worked in a union shop for 38 years and we had to fight for everything we got. I walked the picket line in the dead of winter for six weeks and received $30 a week. As I stated before, if the money wasn't there, the company couldn't have made the agreements. Anybody that cuts up the unions is just green with envy that they never got hired into a union job. Long live Walter Reuther."

"Some of our politicians want to raise taxes and other government obstacles to the kind of risk-taking and hard work that allow Americans to climb the income ladder so rapidly. As the U.S. Treasury data shows, we shouldn't worry about inequality. We should worry about the people who use inequality as a political club to promote policies that reduce opportunity."

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