Time is now to re-evaluate assistance programs

Letters to the editor

Time to eliminate counter-productive programs

Re “Report: Health law to shrink labor pool,” Feb. 5: I’ve never seen it stated as blatantly as on the front page of the paper.

The article said, “That would mean losses equal to 2.3 million full-time jobs by 2021, in large part because people would opt to keep their income low to stay eligible for federal health care subsidies or Medicaid.”

For over two generations, we have been paying people to stay poor. For over two generations, we have been paying never-married women to have babies. In the past, these programs have been sugar-coated with terms like “compassion,” while the inevitable consequences, poverty and single parenthood, were never mentioned.

Thank you for leaving off the sugar-coating and describing the real nature of these programs. Now that the truth is out, perhaps we can do something about eliminating these counter-productive programs. JOSEPH P. MARTINO, SIDNEY

Nation should follow EU’s model on execution policy

Re “Debate rages over execution methods,” Feb. 2: What civilized country still touts capital punishment as a valid way to deter crime, or to serve as just retribution for a crime, any crime? Not one country in the European Union. In fact, the USA could not even be considered for admittance to the EU because of this, as an absolute ban on the death penalty is enshrined in both the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the European Convention on Human Rights of the Council of Europe. And yet, we have a substantially higher crime rate that all of the countries in the EU. What deterrence? And what right? Gives one pause, does it not?

I’m reminded of a quote often attributed to Bernard Shaw: “America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without knowing civilization.” W. STUART MCDOWELL, DAYTON

Unintended consequences of Endangered Species Act

Re “Changes sought for Endangered Species Act,” Feb. 5: This article shows some admiration for President Nixon’s 1973 signing of the Endangered Species Act. The species has grown to 1,500 plants, insects, mammals, birds, reptiles, etc. Currently, the species advocates have agreed to add 250 more species to the list.

In spite of spending billions of dollars since 1973, they have only saved about 30 species. But it has caused havoc for developers, foresters, etc. and a boon for litigators.

The Caesar Creek dam was delayed because of the snail darter. A planned community golf course complex south of the dam was rejected by three investor groups. High interest rates and the snail darter may have led to the rejection.

I wish these “Save the Species” advocates would join the pro-life advocates and save the species “Homo sapiens.” PAUL T. HEALY, EATON

Getting to the bottom of climate changes, pollution

A recent reader wrote that all the humans alive plus all the humans who have ever lived would fit in a one-cubic-mile hole, and wondered how such a “few number of creatures can change the climate of a planet.”

It’s fairly simple to explain. Each year we burn more petroleum than would fit in that hole. Each year we burn more than twice as much coal as would fit in that hole. Each cubic mile of coal requires 71 cubic miles of atmosphere to provide the oxygen needed to burn that coal, and then the entire atmosphere is loaded with the waste gases from all the coal, petroleum and natural gas. Since around 1875 we have increased atmospheric CO2 70%. We have also changed the acidity of the surface of the ocean enough to affect biological processes.

Because our use of fossil fuels has expanded along with population, over half of all that pollution was emitted in the last 25 years. The problem is not what would fit in a hole. It’s what came out of those holes. NED FORD, WAYNESVILLE

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