Union Democrat staff

Walmart lawsuit

To the Editor,

In response to the article in the Aug. 23 Union Democrat regarding the lawsuit aimed at curbing Walmart's expansion, I object to the fact that others are deciding how I can save money.

What does it matter that Walmart can implement its own zoning rules without the requirement to complete an environmental impact review? Why is this needed?

When Walmart originally bought or leased (I don't know which) the property, the extra lot was included in the deal. The consensus, at that time, was they would be able to expand their store. Isn't it the future now?

Mr. Domenic Torchia said he was against the expansion because he wanted to save jobs for the other grocery stores. Considering the economy and the prices of groceries today, I am in favor of it.

I am a senior living on a fixed income. Any way I can save money would be helpful to me. Would these other stores help me to save money and lower their prices?

Marge Jones


GOP wants to privatize Medicare

To the Editor,

In response to Patricia DuFur's Aug. 22 Letter to the Editor:

Where is the $716 billion coming from that Patricia DuFur is talking about? I am sure she believes in the alleged raid on Medicare that Romney/Ryan have been campaigning on in one minute ads.

Let's look where it really comes from. According to the Affordable Healthcare Act it will come from reducing annual increases in federal reimbursement to hospitals, nursing homes and home health care agencies - to force a notoriously inefficient system to find ways of improving productivity. Another source will come from drug makers, device makers, and insurers - fees they can surely afford since expanded coverage for the uninsured will increase their markets and revenues.

More will be saved by reducing unjustifiably high subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans that enroll beneficiaries at a higher than average cost than Medicare.

Romney/Ryan recently said they would restore the entire $716 billion in cuts by repealing the Affordable Care Act.

The Congressional Budget Office says that would increase the deficit by $109 billion in the next 10 years. The Republicans have long had a goal of privatizing Medicare. Romney/Ryan would see that plan would begin.

Carol Malispina


Hooliganism jailings

To the Editor,

Media outlets are condemning Russia's two year imprisonment judgement of the Pussy Riot Three for hooliganism in Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral. After watching their stunt on Youtube, I agree imprisonment is warranted but two years is excessive.

A modification may give appropriate justice: reduction to three months upon good behavior, sign agreement not to perform publicly for 2 years, all monetary gain from stunt go to the Cathedral they embarrassed.

The U.S. media should not be shocked and exploit this event because of our prisons being crowded with long sentences for illegal drug transactors and three-strike trivial offenders.

Dennis Schneider

Angels Camp

The conservative agenda on unions

To the Editor,

The conservative agenda is anti-union. Apparently we're better off when workers have no voice. Our government could foster labor and business cooperation, but it doesn't. Since the 1970's, union membership has declined from 40 percent to 9 percent.

Graph the decline in union membership and the decline in middle class wages since the 1970s they nearly match. American workers are more productive but profits aren't shared. Busting unions keeps your wages low.

In "Upward Mobility," America ranks 47th among the 47 industrialized economies, so much for the American dream. If worker wages had grown at post World War II rates, wages would be 30 percent higher today.

Healthy unions fight wage gouging that funds excessive executive pay, and exports jobs overseas.

We deregulated the banks (another conservative idea), creating the recession.

The bankers got off - what had been illegal was deregulated. It costs money to create jobs but we hate stimulus.

The Tea Party thinks we create jobs by making the "recession creators" wealthier but there's no evidence this happens.

The top 20 percent of Americans hold 84 percent of the nation wealth - so where are those jobs?

And who's paying for this recession?

Who's losing their homes, jobs, benefits, and pensions…the wealthy?

"The recession creators" get tax cuts, while they're claiming huge wage increases, and bonuses…why?

Who's there to stop them?

American workers are paying for this recession.

In Scranton, Penn., the wages of the public workers including police and firemen were cut to minimum wage of $7.25.

Wages, benefits and pensions are declining. You're next.

And the recession creators are just laughing, saying, "No new taxes… unions are bad."

And when wages are low enough, "You can shine my shoes!"

Robert Carabas