Automakers messed up, but there's plenty of blame for all
GM, Ford, and Chrysler should not get a federal bailout. However, we should not blame their problems only on management. We are all complicit.
Sure, their top management can be blamed for being 30 years too slow in delivering fuel-efficient cars. But Congress – elected by us – left fuel efficiency standards unchanged for 30 years. The Big Three should not have put so much emphasis on gas-guzzling SUVs. But Congress approved a 2006 budget giving huge tax incentives for small businesses to buy large SUVs.
On Nov. 4 we threw out many of the elected officials who helped get us in this mess. Now we should let the free market work. The long-term effect should be a stronger industry.
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Bailout or bankruptcy? Here's
a third way: mergers
Instead of the government using our money to bail out General Motors, or letting GM file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy ( not the same as liquidation), why not merge it with a Japanese automaker? GM has already done this on a limited basis with Toyota with their joint production facility in California. Why not merge the entire two companies?
Stephen V. Gilmore
The writer is Mecklenburg County commissioner, District 6.
From far side of political spectrum, I'll miss Parks Helms
I am not sure how history will judge any local politician but I will miss Parks Helms and the “give and take.”
While we didn't agree on a lot, we had fun (for the most part) disagreeing. Parks is part of a line of Charlotte politicians from the traditional mold. I suspect my arrival some 12 years ago was more of a shock to him than he was to me. Still, he and I found common ground on a number of issues over the years.
Debate will be different now that he is gone from the board.
I'm cheering the last day in office of big spender Helms
Parks Helms retires – finally. All I can say is: “Free at last!”
Helms, the biggest spender and taxer on the board of county commissioners, is gone at last and is in the past!
In response to “Act now on climate change” (Nov. 17 For the Record):
Jim Rogers, ‘global warming' drivel distracts you from job
It is embarrassing, disappointing and unbelievable to read that the supposedly intelligent CEO of Duke Energy is spouting the global warming drivel and panic talk we hear and read about daily from an out-of-touch Al Gore, who single-handedly is trying to convince the world that the myth of global warming is real and will cause worldwide damage within a few years. Worse, Rogers presumes to lecture President-elect Obama not to postpone efforts to address climate change, but – at the same time as he deals with the suffering economy – include global warming plans “in a manner that will revitalize our economy.”
Mr. Rogers, thank you for your noble but misguided efforts on our behalf, but please be satisfied to limit your efforts simply to guide Duke Energy so that it is profitable.
Charles V. Seng
Sanford and fellow Republicans face a couple of conundrums
As S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford assumes a leadership role in the Republican Party, he faces two fundamental issues. First, most people don't care about the size of government, but care mightily about its competence.
Second, Republicans are running for government while blaming the government for the country's ills. It makes no sense to blame the very institution you're trying to be a part of.
Republicans will find people like the idea of being a conservative more than they like being governed conservatively.
In response to “Incidents of racism dampen Obama victory” (Nov. 17):
I'm shocked, shocked to learn racism is still alive in the South
It comes as no surprise to me, a young black female in North Carolina, that racism is alive and well in the South.
Some people are saying white people are outraged and feel as though all that their forefathers built is being taken from them, by the election of our nation's first black president.
Most black people have felt this way their entire lives. Throughout our country's history, America has always had a white president. Black people were never bothered by this – we just said OK and lived with it. We never thought anything was being stolen from us in that regard.
America is a great melting pot of races and nationalities. It's what makes this nation so great. So get over it, and get used to it. We are all here to stay.
With left's hypocrisy, the next four years will be painful
Bent on swinging yet another election, the media's “Palin Pile-On” continues (“Gov. Palin has one eye on Alaska, one on 2012 race,” Nov. 14).
Never underestimate the left's hypocrisy: Mocking Sarah Palin's chances of victory in 2012, the writer snipes: “Never mind that the [Republican] ticket lost the election by a country mile” – an apparent reference not to the relatively slim 6 percentage point split in the popular vote, but to the wider split in electoral votes. Would that be the same Electoral College liberals so thoroughly repudiated in 2000?
The piece also tries to equate distributing profits from public lands with “spreading the wealth” by putting your money in other people's pockets.
It's going to be a long four years.
F. Paul Valone
In response to “Gay-marriage ban protested nationwide” (Nov. 16):
Why force people to live a lie? Religion, civil laws are different
A friend recently told me of a man who committed suicide. She said everyone thought he was probably gay, but he had done the “right thing,” married a woman, and had four kids. That distorted sense of right and wrong and indifference to his probable agony brought the same-sex marriage issue to mind.
Civil marriages are a civil right in a government based on individual freedom to pursue personal happiness. If a religion objects to same-sex marriage, it simply does not have to sanction it. People who want the government to enforce their religion are little different from the Taliban.
Jerry W. Robertson
In response to “When majority wins, it isn't tyranny but democracy” (Nov. 19 Forum):
Zealotry is bigger threat than any ‘homosexual agenda'
Because I'm an atheist, the Bible's views on homosexuality are no more relevant to me than Harry Potter's.
I am a conservative, happily married heterosexual in a committed, loving relationship for more than 20 years, but we do not attempt to impose our beliefs onto others. We have known many gay couples over the years. Homosexuality is not contagious.
As for the majority vote, Hitler was elected to lead the Nazi party, which then legally took control of Germany.
Fear can drive the majority to horrific acts of injustice, making narrow-minded religious zealotry and bigotry much larger threats to my freedom than any nonexistent “homosexual agenda.”
Constitution or Bible? There IS
a difference, you know
I am trying to figure out what the Bible has to do with democracy, human rights, the Constitution or civil marriage laws.
The Constitution is our governing document, not the Bible. It was the Constitution that built in protection for minority rights against the tyranny of the majority.