What is up with Robert Loest? At first I thought his letter [July 12] was about xenophobia. Then I counted the word "union" used unfavorably five times in the letterespecially "white union guys."
Let me clue you, Robert. The problem is not unionsnot now, not ever! The problem is capitalism!
Capitalists want you, me and everyone else who works for a living to work as hard as possible for as little as they can get away with paying us. That's the reason for NAFTA, trade with China, the movement of jobs overseas and the scheme to replace Social Security with an "investment" strategy. It's also the reason capitalism has conducted a relentless crusade against organized labora crusade you seem to have cheerfully joined.
Unions may not be perfect, but measured against the cruelty of untrammeled capital, there is no contest.
Spend, Then Tax?
Given how quickly he abandoned his anti-income tax position once in office, I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that Gov. Sundquist would be irresponsible enough to send the Legislature a budget that exceeds projected revenues. The deficits you hear about in next year's budget are based on a budget which exceeds projected revenues despite the fact that most budgets (including next year's) can be significantly larger than the previous year's without running a deficit.
I'm sure that as the budget battle heats up again, that pro-income-tax types will be coming out with all kinds of polls showing that a majority of Tennesseans support a state income tax. What you won't see from these pro-income-tax types is a desire for the people to vote on the income tax issue. If a majority of Tennesseans support a state income tax, then why aren't all those pro-income-tax types eager for the people to vote on it?
I also find it interesting that while the pro-income-tax types frequently point out how a majority of Tennesseans would pay less initially under a certain income tax system, they never show if the majority will pay less under an income tax system in the long run.
Short on Polish
In the July 19 Metro Pulse, John R. Snyder criticizes the choice of a planetarium for Knoxville's downtown. It seems ironic for him to write about the "savagery" and "childishness" of UT sports and the stupidity of the fans on one hand and on the other hand to use phrases such as "ate up with dumbass" and "polish a turd."
I feel that he could have stated his position and argued his point more eloquently and effectively without all the rancor and ill will.
I occasionally encounter people who have nothing but bad things to say about Knoxville and I am always led to wonder why they hang around if it is such a bad place in which to live.
In a medium of editorial opinion one should certainly be able to speak one's mind. However, those of us (and there are a lot of us) who love Knoxville could do without so much cynicism from those who, by my estimation, just want to complain about something.
W. Joel Brooks