The late Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne used to tell how after government breaks your leg, it will take credit for providing your crutches.
First we had bankers making quarter-million-dollar loans to people with no collateral and probably no lunch money. Unfortunately, the bankers knew the government would be there with its printing presses cranking out fiat dollars if the loans went south. They were right. If someone would cover my risks, everything I own would be sold by lunch and I'd be on the first bus to the Detroit casinos.
We've also seen Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and Congress spending your confiscated tax dollars on victims of Katrina as if they were State Farm. With no penalty for stupidity, we now find people rebuilding at six feet below sea level.
Few Americans understand or remember how Franklin D. Roosevelt's economic policies exacerbated and prolonged the Depression.
Locally, we've had Mayor Carty Finkbeiner propping up businesses like the Erie Street Market.
What all of these people miss is that central planning never works. It proved disastrous in every country that tried it. The free market, however, always works because it is always doing a balancing act between supply and demand in an effort to please a consumer. To operate in this manner sometimes takes millions of decisions by thousands of people to arrive at a price. It is only the free market that can arrive at a rational price. Price is critical in a free market because it's the only way scarce resources can be allocated properly.
When the free market fails, you will always find the fickle finger of a politician.
'Age of Innocence' really gone for good
In Tom Walton's Jan. 7 column, he wrote as a white American male "of a certain age." I respond as a black American woman "of a certain age," yet if I had written that column about the loss of innocence, it would have been practically identical to his (and yes, I was one of those Yankee fans, even cheering for them at a home Tigers game).
What this says to me is what I have long asserted: that there was a period of time when, no matter one's color, ethnicity, or religion, whether one lived in the city, country, or the suburbs, and no matter one's team affiliation for that matter, there were certain unspoken "rules," mores if you will, that governed much of our lives.
Among these rules were that you never thought about talking back to your parents, teachers, or anyone else in a position of authority; you went to church, synagogue, or mosque; everyone watched out for each other, especially the kids, and if your neighbor disciplined you, you'd better comply, and kids could walk or ride their bikes all over the neighborhood and play outside from sunup to sundown. I also remember when you dressed up (or at least dressed nicer) to go downtown and, of course, downtown was a bustling, fun place to be.
Unfortunately, as much as I long for those days, and feel sad that our children and grandchildren will not know such a time, I believe that the "Age of Innocence" is indeed gone for good.
Best from all parties should run country
The American presidential-election process is antiquated. Everyone is talking about change, and this would be a great place to start. The United States is divided right down the middle when it comes to what we want to see in a candidate. We all want our voices and concerns to be heard and acted on. I propose a government that is no longer run by one party candidate but by the best of all parties, a presidential council run much like the Supreme Court.
How wonderful it would be to have the likes of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, etc., all working together to solve our problems.
You want change? Perhaps we should start looking at everything differently.
East Streicher Street
CareNet is worthy of support from city
I find it simply appalling that Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's administration is yet again attempting to block needed funds for the Toledo's historic CareNet program. With the country on the verge of a national health-care crisis, forcing some to drive to Canada for reasonably priced medications or forgo doctor's visits because they can not afford the bills, the mayor's intention to veto the authorization of funds for the program is highly unacceptable.
The administration claims it does not want the money taken from the general fund. But, if taking care of a need for thousands of people does not apply to the city generally, I'm not sure what does.
And I hope the mayor is not allocating funds to "beautify the city" over saving people's lives. I sincerely pray that is not a gamble he's playing because the lives of residents are the city - not flowers.
Simply put, this is a program that helps everyone. It helps to keep the thousands of uninsured within the means of a doctor's visit. It helps to decrease crowding and therefore wait-time in emergency rooms - something we all can use - and it helps doctors fulfill their oaths to care for the sick, even those who otherwise could not pay.
The city would be 100 percent wrong to deny this authorization. If the mayor vetoes the spending bill, he should resign because his oath to look after the lives of Toledoans simply would be a farce.
Ravi Kumar Perry
Webb vote a sleazy, dishonest display
As a lifelong Democrat and/or independent, I was mortified, angered, and embarrassed by the action of freshman Democratic councilwoman Lindsay Webb when she switched her vote for Toledo City Council president after saying she would vote for another candidate. This has nothing to do with the comparative qualifications of either Michael Ashford or Mark Sobczak to be council president. Personally, I prefer Mark Sobczak in that role. But I have a feeling of disgust at Ms. Webb's blatant deception and craven caving in to political pressure. I am also embarrassed by Mr. Sobczak's subsequent attempts to put a positive glow on her lying, trying to convince citizens this was a principled stand.
It was a sleazy display of dishonesty. Ms. Webb and Mark Sobczak should be ashamed.
This is a most inauspicious start for Lindsay Webb.
Gary P. Jankowski
Right to end state tax on military pensions
My husband, Glenn, and I want to thank state Rep. Peter Ujvagi (D., Toledo) for legislation ending the state tax on military pensions. We thank the Ohio House and Senate and Gov. Ted Strickland for passing and signing this legislation, which goes into effect March 8.
My husband has been taxed for 42 years, and this was the right thing to do. He served three years in the Navy during World War II, taking part in the invasions of Okinawa and Saipan, and 17 years with the Coast Guard.
The Dec. 28 editorial in The Blade didn't think this was the right time. After 42 years of paying state taxes, when would be the right time?
Veterans also should keep in touch with their senators and congressmen about keeping their other benefits.
The military's Survivor Benefits Plan will be increased to 55 percent in April, 2008. Widows age 62 years and older had been given only 35 percent after 1988, which was changed to 40 percent a few years ago. Veterans, however, have paid for 55 percent since 1972.
Wild West shoot-'em-up in Toledo
I've been waiting for a Blade editorial on the incident a couple of weeks ago at the Rally's at Holland-Sylvania Road and Central Avenue. I recall The Blade's numerous editorials on the return to the Wild West if the city or state passed the concealed-carry law. Now, here we have a law enforcement officer unloading his handgun into the tires of a getaway car, and who better than a "sheriff's deputy" at that? Ah, the shoot-'em-up Wild West right here in Toledo.