Letters to the Editor - Sept. 10

September 10, 2011

Trade deficit is costing us jobs

To the editor:

Today’s news accounts reported that our country had a “trade deficit” of $59.4 billion just for the month of June. When are we going to wake up to this continued drain that our so-called trade policies and trade agreements have on jobs and well-being of this country? When do you recall ever seeing a trade surplus in favor of this country in recent years?

Just once, wouldn’t you like to see a simple report from our government showing how many jobs have been lost to our society and how many dollars we have recorded as a trade deficit since the first trade agreement to the last trade agreement. We all would be astounded to see the data. We should truly wonder just exactly why they fail to issue such a report. Our entire trade policy is a complete and utter farce. The NAFTA portion of our trade policy has, by some accounts, cost more than 750,000 jobs through quarter II of this year.

We keep hearing about the need to create jobs in this country, while simultaneously being told that we shouldn’t dare increase taxes on the wealthy plutocrats because they (the wealthy) are the ones who create jobs. The people of this country should wonder why should we (even if we could) create new jobs when in all likelihood new jobs will simply be lost through the unfair trade agreements and policy activities of the country. How long must we allow this so-called “free trade” to continue? It is similar to slow strangulation. As a country, we have already lost jobs through this unfair trade policy, yet it continues unabated. When is enough, enough?

Jim Hassinger wrote an article that appeared in the Herald News on Aug. 10, titled “Several solutions exist for the debt crisis.” It was a well-written article and called for a serious look at the benefits of revising tariff policy and put an end to trade appeasement. That was a very sound recommendation and I congratulate him for his fine article.

It is time, in fact way beyond time, to very seriously review all aspects of this so-called free-trade policy and put an end to this steady drain on our jobs and well-being brought on by the unworkable and in some cases fully unjustified trade agreements in place.

It will only happen when we the people cause it to happen by letting our governmental representatives know that enough is enough and we want it corrected. If it was done yesterday it would be one day too late. This unfair free-trade is totally devouring the economy of this country.

Bill Hahn

Check out retirement communities

To the editor:

I think most people want to stay in their homes until the end of their lives. But I think it’s a good idea to explore the idea of moving to a retirement community before they have health problems. Think about it; if you don’t downsize, your survivors will have to do it when you are gone.

My suggestion is that when couples reach 80 years of age, they could check with retirement communities about the possibility of moving there sometime soon. You would find that there are many advantages by moving into a retirement community. First, you would meet new people. There would be many activities for you to enjoy. Most places like this offer lifelong care options or contracts, so you would be taken care of for the rest of your life. Making a decision to do this is not easy because the first thing you both would have to agree to do it, and often this is a problem.

I now live in such a community and I think it is great, just where I should be. We lived in our home for 43 years; we planned it, had it built and loved it. But, I don’t want to return, that part of our life is over. We are in our late 80s now and I am glad we bought a cottage here and have all the advantages and security that we have. Like I said, you downsize, selling your home, getting rid of many things you don’t need anymore. No mowing the lawn, no snow shoveling, no maintenance of any kind, inside or outside.

We have three sons, and this move has really relieved their minds, because they know we will be fine the rest of our lives. I know quite a few couples who have moved to a retirement facility, and none regrets doing it. In fact, they are like me — glad we did it. Like I said, most couples want to stay in their home the rest of their lives, and that’s their right. But, I just want you to know there are other options for our retirement years.

Check it out. Talk about it. You might find it to be something that you want to do.

Jack Myers

What happened to the Emergency Broadcast System?

To the editor:

I am an inmate at Maryland Correctional Training Center near Hagerstown. I listen to the radio for news as well as music. All too often, the annoying signal comes. The message is something like, “This is the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test. Had this been an actual emergency, the signal you just heard would have been followed by news or instructions.”

Now, the first time I expected to hear the EBS signal with news or instruction was Sept. 11, 2001. I was here at MCTC on that day. The EBS never came through. Now, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, again no EBS news or instruction.

How big does the earthquake have to be in order for the EBS to be bothered with giving us any news? I have 10 pre-set stations on my radio. The only news I was receiving was from callers around this area saying, “Yes, it was making waves in my bird bath, too.”

When was the last time the EBS was actually used?

Richard “Dean” Bowen
MCTC, No. 360582

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