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December 15, 2012

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Dec. 15

Reader disappointed in another right-to-work adoption

Michigan, the incubator of organized labor, has become the 24th state to impose the deceptively titled right-to-work legislation, effectively cutting off unions at the knees, and further threatening the struggling middle class.

Contrary to the right-wing echo chamber, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that workers in right-to-work states earn $7,000 less on average than those in non right-to-work states. It’s a wage race to the bottom.

I’ve never been a union member, but I always recognized that my employee benefits, i.e. health insurance, paid sick days, paid vacation, safety in the workplace, etc. were hard-won by the efforts of labor unions. Do you suppose that big corporations offer these benefits because they are kind-hearted? Think about Walmart employees — nonunion, of course. Many are so underpaid they need food stamps that we subsidize, while just six Walton (Walmart) heirs own more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans.

It is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention that there is a coordinated effort among Republican-led states to pass laws restricting the rights of unions, women, racial and ethnic minorities, gays — essentially anyone who is unlikely to vote Republican.

These are “model bills” written by corporate billionaire members of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) that are passed into law virtually verbatim. (Indiana State Sen. Dave Frizzell, R, is ALEC’s national chairman.) If they can’t win at the national level, they plan to “win” state by state. And it’s a zero-sum game. So, if you prefer corporatism/plutocracy to democracy, keep voting for Republicans at every level.

— Ruthanne Wolfe, New Albany

Reader responds to letter

Dear Mr. Charlie Gregory,

Your letter to the editor in the Dec. 5, News and Tribune required my response. I’m sure you expect one. Here it is:

I know your fondness for former Sen. Dick Lugar rates right up there with your (real) fondness for me.

I, for one did not wake up with a bad taste in my mouth Nov. 7. I woke up to reality. The reality that We The People, with grim determination, will continue the fight for our Republic. One day at a time, one election at a time.

Merry Christmas,

— Kelly Khuri, Jeffersonville

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