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Letters

September 4, 2013

NEWS AND TRIBUNE LETTERS — For Sept. 4

What’s in it for us?

There is talk that the U.S. is poised to strike Syria. We should ask our government — what’s in it for us? Military land bases, oil or mineral rights?

How many more Vietnam walls must the U.S. dedicate with names of its fallen heroes in the name of these petty godless conflicts before a cry aloud is heard saying enough — and what’s in it for a sacrificial return of this nation’s proud, honored blood and treasure?

These nations the U.S. is helping hate our guts and would rather take a knife to our throats as to look at us. Hasn’t the government learned you can’t buy friends and the friends you do have you don’t throw under a bus?

A new battle cry should sound all through the land before we go marching into lands that don’t want us there. What’s in it for us?

— Leroy Heil, Jeffersonville

APA seeks artists for show

The Animal Protection Association (APA) is holding their third annual APA juried Arts and Craft show “Christmas in the City” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16 at St. Augustine’s Parish Hall, 315 E. Chestnut St., Jeffersonvile. APA seeks artists and craftsmen to be in the show. All items must be made by the artist or crafter. This is a professional show.

Contact Linda Williams, 812-284-3580 or at innbridge@aol.com, if you are interested.

— Linda Williams, Jeffersonville

Fast food comes at a cost

Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute, (i.e. Think Tank), is probably correct when he states that fast food giants like McDonald’s will increase automation rather than pay employees $15 an hour.

After all, it’s all about profits and shareholder value, which is the current business model. No longer do corporations feel a duty to balance profits with concern for their employees and the interests of the country. The Milton Friedman economic philosophy that business owes nothing to society except profits has been the corporate mantra for decades.

But it doesn’t take an economist to recognize that something is terribly out of balance when McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson’s 2012 salary of $8.5 million is more than 558 times what a McDonald’s employee earns, while McDonald’s profits increased by 135 percent last year.

According to Bloomberg, pay disparity has doubled at McDonald’s in the last 10 years, helping the corporation pay for lobbying against unionization and increases in the minimum wage. And McDonald's has plenty of like-minded corporate company.

Bloomberg also points out that the number of older adults working in the fast food industry has exploded during the recession. In a recent article, Saltsman infers that fast food workers are primarily teenagers.

But these jobs are no longer about teenagers’ “spending money.” They are the livelihood of many adults working full-time, yet still not earning enough to pay for rent, transportation, child care and groceries. You try it.

Many of them show up at food pantries and need help with their utility bills. So the next time you chow down on your 99-cent “value” burger, think about the person who prepared it. And then remember Don Thompson.

— Ruthanne Wolfe, New Albany

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