Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

Respecting the flag

How long will we the people allow disrespectful people to abuse and burn the American flag. How pathetic that a college in the United States would allow students to control and run our colleges? How disgraceful can our government, states and local agencies get by ignoring the burning our flag while more than 1,000 veterans who fought for our country had to protest against such outrages and disruptive behavior? Why are our government agencies standing idle by.

You have to be a small-minded college student and not a respectful citizen of this country and not honoring our Constitution to burn Old Glory due to the outcome of a nation’s process in electing a U.S. president. If you do not like the American flag and the principles it stands for, you shouldn’t be attending an American college. Study abroad and see how if that country will allow you to rule the roost by burning their flag and telling colleges what to do. Freedom of speech does not cover destroying property. That flag was mine if not yours.

Faye W. Tanner,

Macon

Bus service too expensive

Many of the surrounding counties would just love to provide a bus system, but they, unlike Macon-Bibb County realize the total irrational costs are not justified. After reading the article about how few used the service, I called to inquire about the profit and loss statement. I was danced around with how many wanted the service and how much growth Macon-Bibb County had experienced. Several large employers (no names will be used) need our bus service.

In Business 101, in clearly states “in order to provide a service, it must be beneficial to enough people to sustain it.” Our county commissioners, I assume, are too busy selling off properties at 75 percent discounts to look at the hundreds of thousand wasted dollars on busing and over lapping departments. How many Macon-Bibb County employees are not justified?

Carolyn Effie,

Macon

‘Buy American’

The Obama administration is planning to outsource production of American fighter jets to India in order to save money and improve relations with that nation. This ill-advised policy should be terminated under Donald Trump’s plan to “Buy American.” All weapons and products used by the American military which this country has the capability to produce should be made in the U.S.A. It will cost a little more, but it will preserve and create American jobs.

Part of the payments to American companies and the wages paid to American workers will be recouped by income taxes and state and local sales taxes, as well as reduced unemployment and welfare benefits, food stamps and other government subsidies to the unemployed. We might also expect that the Defense Department under Gen. “Mad Dog” Mattis will fully support this policy in procuring the weapons and materials necessary to rebuild our depleted military arsenal. The same benefits would also be derived from having all government agencies “buy American.”

Charlie Adams,

Fort Valley

Taxes and tariffs

A massive retraining and education of the workforce to meet the challenges of today’s technology is one of the keys to gaining full employment in America. Although it is true, many jobs have been lost to offshore manufacturing, many of the jobs that are left in America requires highly skilled individuals to direct the robots and other technology-driven processes commonly found in manufacturing environments today.

America’s work force needs to be retrained and educated by courses designed to meet the challenges of today. Conventional education at the college level needs retooling and restructuring. In this regard, more focus needs to be placed on achieving these objectives through technical colleges.

Many underestimate the driving force low hourly wages offshore have on competition, in many cases—less than $3 per hour. This factor, coupled with employers not having to pay FICA taxes — estimated at 7.65 percent of employees’ wages defines the playing field. The status quo, nevertheless, is much better than the unintended consequence that will inevitably result if arbitrary decisions to force businesses back to the shore of America prevail. The bottom line — America workers cannot now or in the near future compete with offshore workers’ typical wage structure.

Trump and his team will quickly confront the real challenges American workers face and come to realization that the problems far exceed their initial assessment. Increased productivity is the name of the game which we’ve done an excellent job with fewer workers; therefore, automation through technology is not the culprit. The real culprits are our short-sighted political leaders still operating from the ‘70s playbook.

In view of current technology typically found in manufacturing plants across America — output, coupled with reduction of cost, remains the cornerstone to increased productivity. The jury is still out regarding the impact Trump’s recent initiative persuading Carrier not to close will have on workers benefiting from such action. What happens when the unsustainable incentives expires? America’s plants does not compete in a micro environment — global competition is the inescapable consequence that threats of higher taxes and tariffs alone will not reverse.

John Haugabrook,

Warner Robins

Oil on the roads

It seems that Middle Georgia has been experiencing a rash of fatalities on our highways where vehicles leave the roadway with the driver and occupant(s) being killed or injured. Although not a traffic engineer, I do have a theory on why these tragedies happen. Before the recent rains we had 50 days without. During this time vehicles deposit a film of oil on the roadways and it builds up without being washed away. When it does rain, the oil washes up and causes a slick film on the roads similar to “black ice.” I am always conscious of this fact when I drive after a long dry spell and try to drive more carefully.

During a NASCAR race, if a driver blows an engine and the oil gets sprayed on the raceway, the race stops until the track crews come out and clean up all the oil to prevent the cars from spinning out. I have no evidence any of these accidents were caused by “slick” oily roads, but I believe it is a plausible theory and a contributing factor.

Lou Stennes,

Warner Robins

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