LETTERS: The definition of real luxury; taking the care out of health care
Bring us together again
A personal hunger for more money and political power, broad-based intra-party brinksmanship, the perception of mutual hatred between our political parties, and the unelected special interest masters of our politicians have served to depict our Representatives and Senators individually and the House of Representatives and the Senate collectively as ineffective and their leadership incapable of dealing with our pressing national problems.
Activist federal judges and courts have rendered impotent the president's ability to implement constitutionally sound national policy via executive order. Activist lawyers representing activist groups are crippling the Executive Department regulatory process by shopping for courts and judges willing to legislate from the bench. And fanning the flames are major elements of our national news media that have abandoned journalistic integrity to become third-rate political propaganda organs.
As citizens of this country, ask yourself - what can we to do to bring us together again, to restore honesty and integrity in our political discourse and in the media, and to revive respect for the rule of law. Speak out! The course we are on now will not end well.
The definition of real luxury
Minimum wage laws are a palliative to assuage liberals' self-imposed guilt, and since they're emotionally generated, they hurt the very people they so passionately want to help ("Magic cannot help our working poor," The Gazette's Viewpoint, July 10).
As you argue, the most effective way to help the working poor is to demonstrate at an early age that it's incumbent upon everyone to obtain the training and skills necessary to get on a career track to success. But even more fundamentally - finish high school, and don't have children until you're married and financially prepared.
My father was a second generation Italian, born poor in New York City, and he lived through the Great Depression. But he worked hard and put himself through Fordham Law School. He instilled in his eight children the necessity of sacrifice, delayed gratification, and hard work.
Therefore, I worked in high school, college, and graduate school, which provided real-world lessons. Our first home was a palatial 1,400 square foot, two bedroom, one-bath dream - austere, yes, but we earned it.
Real luxury isn't a 4,000 square-foot home, it's having the wisdom to understand that no one owes you anything, that success, even modest success, is daunting, but achievable with sustained effort. After nearly four decades of clawing our way up the economic ladder we now enjoy life on our terms, and work only if we want to.
Oh, by the way we've moved up housing scale - we're now in a capacious 1,600 square-foot house with two bedrooms and two baths. How sweet it is!
Reducing our carbon footprint
I am writing in response to a guest opinion written by Hugo Chavez Ray, dated June 30.
Every day we hear opinions, offering no evidence, that jobs will be lost if we regulate fossil fuel industries.
One in 10 children suffer from asthma in Colorado.
An American Lung Association report published in May of 2016 says that regulating methane and other toxins from oil and gas will help protect public health, as climate change has taken a toll through extreme heat, wild fires and poor air quality.
Regulating methane pollution is a start and we need to open our eyes to the promise of reducing our carbon footprint. 97 percent of all the world's climatologists know, because of evidence, that human caused global warming is happening.
Let's educate ourselves about the success stories of places like Sweden who initiated a carbon tax in 1991 and saw a huge rise in GDP coinciding with a carbon tax and a huge reduction in their carbon footprint. They enjoy one of the most stable economies in Europe.
In a study performed at the New York University School of Law, 84 percent of economists believe global warming is devastating to the economy. Agriculture, fishing, health care and insurance industries are already feeling the pressure.
And 98 percent of economists agree that a market based solution to reduce carbon emissions can promote a new energy industry that will improve the health of our people and result in an increase in jobs.
In a study by Regional Economic Models Inc. highlighted results by the year 2025 state that compared to baseline:
- 2.1 million more jobs under a fee and dividend carbon tax.
- 33 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
- 13,000 premature deaths saved from improvements in air quality.
Climate change is the most important issue in the history of mankind and it must be considered over financial concerns that are unfounded.
Taking the care out of health care
All of us know that health care is about more than pushing pills and performing surgery. The best health care is about providers who can listen.
It is about offering help and hope to the ill and the depressed. It is about compassion for those whose diseases are chronic, and it is about empathy and comfort for those whose diseases can no longer be treated successfully.
In this country we too often take the "care" out of health care. We don't cover everyone. We price critical medications out of reach of many who may most need them. But with the Affordable Care Act, we attempted to make our health care system more responsive to our real healthcare needs.
Now we face an effort by 13 Republican Senators, all male, to craft a new health care bill that shows no compassion or empathy. Paul Ryan is salivating over an opportunity to reduce the size of the Medicaid program that now covers one American in five, leaving millions with unaffordable options forhealth care. There is only one word to sum up the Senate version of Trumpcare and that word is not "compassion." That word is mean!
If the Affordable Care Act is to be replaced, let's be kinder to all Americans and replace it with single payer Medicare for all!
Richard Gingery, M.D.