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This week: Price of Emu Meat Stable Through Time, "Dubious Public Good" From Spending on Stadiums, Democrats Ape Republicans, and Put Working Families First

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Price of Emu Meat Stable Through Time

Those emu photos from Gill ["Good Bird Farming," September 13, 2012] brought to mind a conversation overheard in the Plainfield post office.

Steve the postmaster to Bob the emu rancher: "You look tired."

Bob: "Yep, been slaughtering emus all morning."

"They eat those birds?"

"Yep, we get $13.50 a pound. Cave paintings show we've been eating 'em for over 250,000 years."

(Pause...) "Jeeze, Bob, if they've been on the market that long, you'd think the price wudda come down."

Davio Danielson
Plainfield

*

"Dubious Public Good" From Spending on Stadiums

In his anti-Republican rant ["Actually, RNC, We (Taxpayers) Built This!", September 13, 2012], Pete Redington awkwardly tries to meld two ideas that both fall flat on their faces when examined.

As to his "You didn't build that" moment, it should be pointed out that every slacker living in Grandma's basement has available the same network of roads, bridges, rule of law, etc., as those who build businesses. The achievers are the ones who create jobs, generating tax revenues to build and maintain the infrastructure.

The dubious public good from the massive government spending involved in the construction of a stadium is well understood by fiscal conservatives. It is Democratic mayors and state politicians who continue to champion these projects based on their wishful, flawed conception of Keynesian theory and, of course, crony capitalism (think Solyndra). You could look it up!

John P. Saccavino
Granby

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Democrats Ape Republicans

What a revelation: the Democrats are not Democrats anymore ["The Clinton Effect," September 13, 2012]. I knew that when Lyndon Johnson was president, with the expanding Indochina war.

Since then it has gotten worse with "bipartisanship," with the Democrats aping the Republicans, anxious to get along with the enemy of the middle and working classes that put them into office. The recent conventions were mostly entertainment.

But Clinton made a good speech. His speech was better than his performance as president. Clinton is the one who pushed for passage of the North America Free Trade Agreement, the beginning of free trade agreements that would cause the massive exportation of jobs from the United States. A Republican could not have done better. Organized labor still votes for him.

And now we get to James Heflin's politics. He likes Obama. Four more years of an expanded war in the Middle East and Central Asia and he still likes Obama? And he complains that the Democratic glass remains stubbornly half empty.

I have what may be a revelation for Heflin. There will be four presidential candidates on the ballot in Massachusetts and many other states. There will be Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and either one of those two would be better than the candidates of the duopoly. In addition, there will be some important legislative races. Elections laws are determined mostly by the legislature.

Heflin could have helped make things better by helping put someone on the ballot in March, instead of waiting for someone else to hand him a candidate of his liking.

Robert Underwood
via Internet

*

Put Working Families First

With the release of the U.S. Census' annual poverty report this week, it becomes clear that we are still in economic recovery, but not yet cured. The report shows that in 2011, 46 million Americans lived in poverty, including more than one in four children under age five.

Fortunately, we have tools to make things better. The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are very effective at poverty reduction. In 2010, these credits lifted 9.2 million people out of poverty, more than half of them children. Firemen, police officers, teachers, even military personnel benefit from these credits, which have until recently enjoyed broad bipartisan support.

Unfortunately, key improvements to these credits will expire in December, and if House leadership get its way, these credits would see even deeper reductions (while millionaires and billionaires get more tax cuts). The result is simple: more children and families in poverty.

I urge our Congressional delegation to put working families first. Don't raise taxes on the poor and middle class; protect and extend the current EITC and CTC.

Caroline Roberts
Northampton

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