The trend in the world has been an unmistakable positive movement toward globalization, as evidenced by the free-trade agreement between the United States and South Korea ("U.S., South Korea reach free-trade deal," Dec. 4).
The rest of the world is fast progressing toward self-sufficiency in trade, independent of the United States and Europe. Asian economies, such as India's and China's, are able to fuel their growth at a rapid clip, fed by internal demand or trade with other Asian countries.
The U.S. economy is barely growing. This slow pace is not because of exports of U.S. jobs, as alleged by liberal politicians such as U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), who manages to bring pork back to her constituency at others' expense.
Miss Kaptur's protectionist stand is detrimental to our long-term interests and calls for a change. The next time around, let us vote for a progressive force and a fresh face.
Satish K. Sood
Everyone keeps asking what our politicians are going to do to create jobs here. The answer is nothing, as evidenced by the trade agreement they say is so great with South Korea.
It will allow our car companies to export 25,000 cars to Korea while it can send all it wants to us. South Korea is a country of 50 million people with a new-vehicle market of 1 million a year.
Our politicians have jobs and their only concern is keeping them. Their sessions are all theatrics.
The people of this country need to start looking at labels and buying American. That will create jobs in America.
London Ridge Court
The posturing by congressional leaders over tax cuts for the rich makes one think they are under the direction of Hollywood publicists ("Tax cut best he could get, Obama says; Ongoing fight vowed," Dec. 8). If they divert attention from the problem to the rich, they can put off their responsibilities indefinitely.
Ignored is the recent history of tax cuts. Economist Thomas Sowell recently reported that when the top income tax rates were cut in the Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush administrations, tax revenues increased. The economy grew and unemployment fell.
Congress should quit arguing over taxes. Punishing the rich and successful doesn't help the economy or employ one person. Congress should get to work on the real problem: spending.
Political posturing at this time is cowardly and disgraceful. Congress and the President should demonstrate integrity and set their priorities on the issues they were elected to solve.
Upper Sandusky, Ohio
A recent letter to Readers' Forum offered two suggestions to counter unemployment ("How to cut joblessness," Dec. 7).
The first suggestion was to increase the school dropout age from 16 to 20. There comes a point in every person's life, possibly age 16, to make choices about the behaviors and activities one will embrace. If learning is not among the choices, school becomes only a containment institution.
The other suggestion was to reinstate the military draft. Risking one's personal safety and life is a heavy price to pay to "learn how to accept and give orders."
Both of these suggestions would require considerable government funding. In both cases, the writer has asked the government to assume functions that traditionally belonged to the family.
Institutions would be used to serve purposes for which they were not intended.
The City of Toledo generates revenue and community stability by providing potable water for human and industrial consumption.
It is disturbing that in the guise of needing more revenue, members of our community are pushing regional water control ("Utility hikes costly - inaction more so," op-ed column, Nov. 28).
A regional water authority would mean Toledo would be further impoverished because one of its most valuable assets would be given away. Regional priorities of suburban communities have repeatedly demonstrated disregard for the future of Toledo.
The city's future is irrevocably linked to control of water. If others want to invest to provide and maintain potable water in our region, we will all benefit.
Any political or community figure who would suggest that we give away, sell, share, or cease to control this valuable water infrastructure should either be removed from office or checked into a facility for the criminally insane.
I'm curious to know how the city expects to raise money by increasing utility rates on residents who are already broke from unemployment and skyrocketing costs ("Toledo reduces proposed boost in water rates; City will seek 9% increase, council wants further trim," Dec. 5).
How do you expect to produce those extra dollars if a household doesn't make enough money to put back into the community?
Reading about the meeting of Toledoans and their public utilities representatives, I wondered how many residents who are "at the breaking point" and "tapped out" spend $150 or more per month on cell phone service, cable TV, and Internet access ("Foes of water rate boost give City Council earful," Dec. 7).
In their budgets, are such services crucial while water is just an extravagance?
Is modernizing and repairing the water system so that overflows don't pollute Lake Erie something that should be dumped on future generations?
Looking at photos of the water treatment plant, I conclude that maintenance in the past might have prevented some leaks and rusting valves and piping.
If this had been a routine practice, I feel the increase under consideration could have been greatly reduced.
Such a drastic increase in water and sewer rates will be extremely hard on us retired folks on a fixed income.
Lucas County Sheriff James Telb, John Gray, Jay Schmeltz, and Robert McBroom were all found not guilty of the assault and strangulation of Carlton Benton ("Sheriff Telb found not guilty in cover-up of inmate's death," Dec. 4).
But Gray and Schmeltz were found guilty of covering up the assault and strangulation.
So the big question is: Who assaulted and strangled Carlton Benton?
What a wonderful story about the congregants of Holy Spirit Apostolic Church, who literally gave the shoes off their feet and the coats off their backs to help the homeless at Cherry Street Mission ("Toledo congregants offer up their soles for the homeless," Dec. 6).
With all the negative news and tragedy in the area lately, this is a truly inspiring example of Christian service and compassion.