Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JANUARY 27, 2012 7:20 AM

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Are unlimited iPods worth it?

I must respond to the opinion piece by Joe Schueller, "Government mindset vs. business necessities," printed in the Jan. 26 Daily Iowan.

President Obama wants to bring American jobs home. Our president thinks that it would be good for our nation if we had less unemployment and were manufacturing more things here in America.

Unfortunately, this does not seem obvious to all. In fact, the counter argument presented both in the front-page article "President Obama highlights economic proposals" and opinion piece from Schueller say his ideas could cause more harm than good. Those opposed say that because his proposal would cause businesses to pay American employees greater wages than they pay workers in other countries, the price of our goods would increase, thus businesses would fail.

The question we should ask ourselves is, "Why do Americans even have labor laws?"

Obviously, having an eight-hour workweek is not in the best interest of our companies or our consumers. Neither is a minimum wage, workers' compensation, nor even unions. These regulations have only caused our so called job makers to make jobs in other countries. The ideology of the early 20th century did not do anything to change our long ingrained money-is-the-only-thing-that-matters mentality. If workers are too expensive here, hire elsewhere. As Schueller says, "Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea … and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift …"

That is nothing to be impressed by — that is little better than slave labor. So again, as American people, ask yourself if the nearly unlimited supply of iPods is worth the price of our economic recession.

Henry Ford one said, "There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." When the people of our nation do not have the money to buy the products of our nation, we suffer a continuous downward spiral. Bring the business back and treat humans like humans.

Katie Kuntz
UI student

Public services continue to weaken

Emily Inman's piece on the transportation barriers Iowa City and Coralville residents face spotlights a critical issue: the value of public services.

Public transportation is one of the overlooked subsidies that a society provides to its population, creating the fertile ground that allows a community to remain strong. In this lagging economy, more and more demands are being made of the public provided services, and there is a push to limit, and even reduce, public services in favor of tax reduction and cost savings.

Inman points to the effect of weakening our public services on education, but there are other effects as well. The private sector benefits immensely by having a system that brings both employees and customers to their establishments, seniors, and those with limited mobility have better access to both commercial and public services, the wider public can leave their cars at home to conduct business, and children have a means of transportation without requiring their parents take them places — to name a few.

This represents not simply a convenience but is an actual subsidy to the financial health of both the individual and community, in both time and economic terms. Public-sector transportation is well worth protecting and expanding in this time when everyone is looking for cuts and savings.

Ian Gunsolley
founder, EcoEvolution.org

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