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What do you think?

December 22, 2008

Editor's note: Each week, The Herald-Mail invites readers to answer poll questions on its Web site.

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 there were three poll questions. The first question was: Do you think you will lose your job in the next six months?

o "I didn't vote because I am retired, but I am far from certain that I won't lose my benefits. There is absolutely no sure thing in this current economy. Wait 'til the bills come in for all the bailouts. Counties and states have the audacity to raise taxes and employee salaries and benefits during these times when everyone should be sacrificing. Nobody is driving this bus and there are many dangerous curves and cliffs still ahead. Actually, the number of people who are confident of their job is a good sign. I pray that they are correct."

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o "I selected no, but it could be yes. I am sure there will be layoffs at my job and I hope it will not be me. To worry about it does no good. Many people spend half their lives worrying about something that never happens. I do have a retirement pay, which is small, but will help if I go for unemployment benefits. I don't know how our beloved politicians can look at themselves in the mirror and not feel guilty about what they have and are doing to hurt the people of this country."

o "I work at a small company (less than eight employees) and there has been talk of losing one of us to cut costs, but at least half of us have started looking for other work because our business, and thereby our income, has dropped significantly -- by at least 50 percent."

o "I am not working outside the home, but am the sole caregiver for my disabled husband. As long as he lives, I will have a job, albeit unpaid. Whether he keeps his pensions is debatable. They are all linked to the government. If we lose one, we will likely lose a portion of all. I sure am glad that we worked hard and paid off everything we own before all this happened. We have already lost most of what was supposed to be my retirement. So I have no idea how I will live after he is gone."

o "I doubt I'll lose my job. I like to think I'm pretty indispensable being that there is no one here in my department that possesses the skills that I do."

The second question was: Should Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich resign?

o "He should be long gone. This is overshadowing the days business with Illinois and with the Obama camp. The Republicans are trying to pounce on the Obama camp so badly, they can taste it. He's not even in office and they are negatively dogging his arena."

o "He obviously should resign. There's plenty of corruption, greed and criminal activity to go around despite party affiliation. The sad thing is the right-wing, Kool Aid-drinking blowhards who never once in the last eight years said anything about Scooter Libby, Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Bob Ney, David Safavian, Duke Cunningham, Ted Stevens, Larry Craig and others, but they'll be talking Blago for at least the next four years and blaming Obama. All despite the FBI clearing Obama of any wrongdoing and despite the phone records in which Blago curses Obama for not joining in his criminal activities."

o "Solicitation of bribery may be the most common offense by public servants in this country ... but I don't see a lot of folks getting publicly upset about it. We would have a lot fewer public servants if all of them who solicited for bribery resigned. I prefer to reserve judgment until I get more facts."

o "He should resign and be punished along with all those who made offers for the Senate seat and helped him obtain offers. This may lead to the uncovering of other corruption within the government, which should be addressed. Is there any honest people in the government? Is there anyone who has not lied to us?"

The third question was: Do you believe biotechnology could play a major role in the area's economic future?

o "I voted 'yes' because the operative word is 'could.' However, I don't expect biotech to play a major role in this county's future during my lifetime or during my children's lifetime. After all, how many full-time equivalent students are at the university in Hagerstown less than 120? And very few, if any, of those students are in biotech."

o "As with many things in this paper, I believe it is overhyped. I really think losing so many manufacturing jobs is something that is going to be quite difficult to overcome. It would be nice if it would become a major industry in the area providing a lot of high-paying jobs. I guess we will find out in the coming years."

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