Union Democrat staff

Thank you Tuolumne County

To the Editor:

December 2013 was the 23rd Christmas season the Salvation Army kettles have been present in Tuolumne County. The kettles were placed in three locations throughout Sonora. Residents and visitors to Tuolumne County donated a total of $14,057 during the Thanksgiving weekend and three weekends in December when bell ringers volunteered their time.

Of the total donated, 90 percent remains in Tuolumne County to provide for the varied needs of children and adults.

We would like to thank various businesses that allowed kettles to be placed in front of their stores.

In addition, we are thankful for all the service clubs, organizations and individuals who volunteered their time for our kettle drive. This year, 138 volunteers donated a total of 322 hours for this fundraiser. The service clubs and organizations included: ARONOS Research Women's Club, Sonora Lions Club, Tuolumne County Sheriff's Posse, Sonora Rotary Club, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 391, Tuolumne County Department of Social Services, Tuolumne County Behavioral Health Department, Omega Nu and AAUW.

For further information about our services, please call 532-4763. Donations can be made to Salvation Army, P.O. Box 4842, Sonora, CA 95370.

All of us on the Sonora Service Extension Unit of the Salvation Army would like to thank this community for its ongoing support.

Peggy DuTemple

Salvation Army


Income equality is the problem

To the Editor:

I am reading Jay Dugan's letter ("Wages are a reflection of work," Dec. 24), and I am glad he has "the individual opportunity and ability to advance and earn more." Of course, an airline pilot with his training and responsibility deserves a higher wage than an office worker. But do you believe those who make a thousand times more than you work a thousand times harder than you?

I think you are dangling a red herring here, Jay. I suspect you want to divert attention from what Senator Elizabeth Warren says. She doesn't talk about inequality of wages but about inequality of income.

Most of us obtain their income from wages. Others let their money do the work, and the tax code and other laws inexplicably favor them. Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the U.S., famously complained that his tax rate is lower than his secretary's. He thinks it's unfair.

During the last ten years, "Incomes of the wealthiest 1 percent rose nearly 20 percent, whereas the income of the remaining 99 percent rose 1 percent in comparison."

That's the inequality we are talking about. Which leads to an enormous and growing gap between not only the 1 percent and the rest of use but even between the 0.01 percent (about 400 people in the U.S.) and the 99.99 percent. Thanks to the Supreme Court, corporations now have the right of free speech, just like people. It's their money, though, that makes the difference. It makes their speech to be heard much louder.

I don't see Congress taking up that discussion. With the exception of Senator Warren.

Klaus Kraemer