A benchmark of the Bush administration has been to keep government out of the lives of the American people. In the face of the national emergency it has clearly changed its posture with a support package for the airlines.
This was a wise decision and begins a process that should undermine the deregulation practices now in vogue. Can the taxpayers as consumers expect some quid pro quo from the airlines?
As a condition for the handout the people have a right to ask:
Will security be improved? Will we receive courteous treatment from airline personnel? Will the airlines discontinue the practice of canceling undersubscribed flights? Will luggage handling improve? Will multiple pricing on the same flight be discontinued? Will reliance on hub cities be reduced? Will the airlines stop undermining the travel companies?
Let's hope the airline industry appreciates what is being done for it and reciprocates in kind to consumers.
EDWARD J. NUSSEL
Glaston Oaks Court
What an inappropriate and untimely editorial. (“No bailout for the airlines,” Sept. 18). If editorials written by The Blade are intended to sway public opinion, this one did just the opposite.
Yes, the commercial airline industry, a very capital- and labor-intensive business, has been in a precarious financial situation for years. Why? Our airline business is one of the few in the world not subsidized by its government. If our commerce is to continue at a healthy pace, transportation of goods and people is essential and should be supported by the federal government. That support need not be direct subsidies but services such as security that should not be charged to the airlines.
Our federal and state governments support the trucking business by providing and servicing a great interstate highway system and providing them with police protection. Similarly, our waterways are supported by the Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Coast Guard provides services and protection. Under the terms of the Constitution, the federal government is to provide protection to its citizens from all enemies, foreign and domestic. No question in my mind, airports and airliners should be protected by the government, and not paid for by the airlines.
It's the airlines' responsibility to provide well maintained equipment operated by highly trained personnel adequately paid commensurate with their skills and responsibility. It sounds like the editor would like to return to the federal regulations of yesteryear.
I don't recall that the airlines were making the profit that they should have back in those days, relative to their capital investment and risk. We need government to get out of affairs it should not be in in the first place and get involved with things that should have been its responsibility all along.
DONALD R. JAMESON
Earlier this year, Blade columnist Michael Woods asserted that “we are in the midst of one of the greatest advertising blitzes in history - direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising.” Estimated expenditures by pharmaceutical companies in 2001 are $1.8 billion and are expected to approach $4 billion by 2003.
Concomitantly, progressive increases in health insurance premiums force employers to pass costs on to employees, including higher co-payment for prescription drugs. The rising cost of prescription drugs coupled with excessive health insurance advertising expenditures is a major reason for the premium increases.
Combined, these two factors are central to unbridled increases in health-care costs. It is evident that Congress, misguided by strong lobbying from the pharmaceutical industry, erred by legalizing TV prescription drug advertising. The industry has profited, curtailing funds for research and development, yet ironically providing resources to help finance an American Medical Association educational program for doctors aimed at the ethics of physician and drug industry relationships!
It is imperative that Congress, the AMA, and the medical profession at large intervene to stem an apparently inexorable course toward further heath-care cost increases, which decreases accessibility to quality health care.
HOWARD S. MADIGAN, M.D.
The sneak attack on Bloody Tuesday proved that our adversaries are not interested in compromise or in solutions. Unlike political activists, Osama bin Laden has no reasonable demands, he is only interested in destroying us. This attitude is sure to fail because he has awakened a powerful and sleeping giant not at all interested in being destroyed. Unfortunately, a peaceful nation, by definition, has to be the one that takes the first hit.
We will read many comments in the days ahead that retaliation will only anger our enemies, leading to more attacks on us. I don't recall any terrorist attacks by the Japanese and Germans over the years in retaliation for the destruction we wreaked on them in World War II. This is because the job was done right. Once it decides to go to war, a country cannot hold back. If it does many of its own people die.
Our enemies have forgotten all this. They think they will prevail because they are brave and willing to die, and Americans are fat and sassy and unwilling to die. This impression is their biggest weakness. Vietnam was an aberration.
History has shown that when Americans are under physical attack we fight ferociously to protect our families and way of life, and precisely because we do not want to die. We fought two world wars on behalf of other people, and prevailed after losing thousands of our own.
We have the economic and military strength to do a lot of damage from a distance and up close, given the proper leadership. Now, we have the leadership and the growing support from many other nations.
Unfortunately, our adversaries do not realize this, and many will die before they are convinced.
West Bancroft Street
We have worked for a million years to rise from the mud into the sunshine, from the darkness into the light.
The sorrow of the World Trade Center tragedy is in the destruction of beauty and function. The people, the machines, the buildings, all were beautiful and functional. Now all are broken.
That is the great, eternal sorrow.
DELMER O. GASCHE
The Blade's articles discussing the issues created by urban sprawl were insightful and informative. The effects of urban sprawl and the implementation of “smart growth” are issues that the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments has been examining through our Growth Strategies Department and Council.
Creating neighborhoods that reflect the wants and needs of our changing society are necessary to compete with other regions. By using land in a way that promotes “smart growth” for the entire region and not municipality by municipality, we can ensure that all needs are met and that what one community builds does not adversely affect neighboring communities.
In sum, the idea is to create a community that is conducive to a healthy environment and a healthy lifestyle. Having sidewalks keeps children off the streets; having corner groceries in our communities becomes not only a means to reduce drive time, but a place for neighbors to meet; having green space creates a safe place for children to play, and reusing existing buildings preserves our history and our farmland.
ANTHONY L. REAMS
Now we want God back?
We, as a nation, have pushed God out of our schools, out of our lives, and out of our country. We have committed terrible sin and even applaud that sin.
Now we want Him back?
Maybe it's too late.