Letters to the Editor for January 17, 2014

Union Democrat staff

American Dream no longer exists

To the Editor:

Re: Poverty stems from life choices

The American Dream, as people once knew it, no longer exists. It has been destroyed by many factors, but primarily by political corruption and corporate greed.

There was a time when we had free and great education for all. Even college was within reach and it didn't take $40,000 to become a teacher. Our parks were well maintained and affordable for families with extra income and vacation time to use them. Most people lived, if not extravagantly, well. They had jobs that provided health care, even savings accounts. They had decent incomes and could take care of themselves. We took care of those who couldn't. ( There were-and continue to be- few who wouldn't.)

It hurts me to see hard working people, people working two or three jobs, still not be able to make ends meet. Livable-wage jobs are rapidly disappearing. People are no longer "laid-off", their jobs will not return when the economy turns. These are gone. They have been globalized or mechanized or simply eliminated. Look at the "Self-Service Checkout" aisles coming to our supermarkets. I remember when the banks gave me a dollar for using the Insta-Teller. We sure were suckers.

Human nature is to set a barrier between ourselves and pain. It's easiest to blame those who suffer. If we make those who are poor or jobless or handicapped feel it's their own inadequacies that are causing their problems they will be ashamed. Shamed people become less vocal and more compliant.

Four hundred people control half the money in America. Corporations are now "people" -allowed to form PACs and buy candidates that make the rules by which we all must play. Do we really trust them to work for the protection of the middle class?

Kim Malavey

Sonora

First Amendment rights threatened

To the Editor:

First Amendment rights do not exist in Calaveras County. And, as long as I reside here there will be no end to my fight to bring them back including running myself for the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors in 2016 and Tom Meyer, my husband, running for Dept. 1 Judge this year. Papers can be pulled until Jan. 27. He is well qualified!

I can see Calaveras County injustices on "60 Minutes." Residents are not safe here and I am not talking about personal safety.

I would welcome any of you to come for a cup of tea or coffee and continue this discussion.

Marilynn Meyer

Copperopolis

The Union Democrat welcomes letters for publication on any subject as long as they are tasteful and responsible, and are signed with the full name of the writer (include a phone number and address, for verification purposes only). Letters should not exceed 300 words.A maximum of one letter per writer can be published every two weeks.The newspaper reserves the right to edit for brevity, clarity, taste and style. Please, no business thank-you's, business endorsements, or poetry. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks. Letters may be submitted by email at letters@uniondemocrat.com or by mail, 84 S. Washington St., Sonora 95370 and by FAX, 209-532-6451.Guest opinions, columns and editorial cartoons do not necessarily reflect the editorial board.

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