In his March 11 op-ed column, "Greece needs the wisdom of Pericles," Nicholas Kristof laments Greece's economic situation, which is not pleasant. However, Greece got where it is by following the entitlement bent of liberals, constantly spending more than the country's income.
The Greeks built up a national debt so large it was unsustainable.
Countries such as Germany that have managed their affairs better do not feel an obligation to bail out Greece, which is trying to restore its economy and rebuild its credit.
This is the lesson that the United States needs to study carefully. It could happen here.
China's role in auto parts criticized
When Vice President Joe Biden visits Toledo on Thursday, he can rightfully trumpet the Obama Administration's rescue of General Motors and Chrysler ("Vice President Biden to speak at local UAW," March 13). However, 190,000 jobs in Ohio's auto-parts industry are at risk because of China's cheating.
China has pumped $27 billion worth of subsidies into its auto-parts sector, with an additional $10 billion planned.
China also blocks U.S. exports of autos and auto parts, while it favors its own industry, in direct violation of World Trade Organization commitments.
We need the President to take action against China to stop its auto-parts subsidies, open its market, and grow jobs in Ohio.
Executive Director Alliance for American Manufacturing Washington, D.C.
Ex-Delphi staff need pension justice
Vice President Biden will speak about the auto-industry bailout and about how the Obama Administration wants to strengthen middle-class security in a country where hard work pays off.
That's insulting to salaried retirees from Delphi plants who were taken back by GM. I am one of the retirees whose pensions were cut by 30 to 70 percent by the administration in the GM bankruptcy, while the pensions of our unionized counterparts were preserved.
The administration should do the right thing and provide Delphi retirees with pension justice.
Energy policy would lower costs
The surge in fuel prices has been driven not by shortages, but by a failed national energy policy ("Fuel tops U.S. list of exports for 1st time, data show," Jan. 2). Refined petroleum products constitute our largest single export at a time when our seriously underemployed population is struggling to survive.
There is nothing that threatens our economic recovery more than rising gasoline prices.
Domestic oil companies sell their refined products abroad at a greater profit than at home, so no matter how much oil we import, the price will continue to skyrocket. The only way to change this is to change the economic equation.
Speculators should be required to pay at the time futures are purchased, and the government should attach a $3 per gallon export tariff on all refined petroleum products to put downward pressure on gasoline and oil prices so economic stabilization can occur.
The revenue from this tariff could subsidize much-needed infrastructure repairs.
Central Grove Avenue
The best trade-ins: government officials
The headline on your March 3 article read: "Pain at pump not translating into trade-ins; No rush seen for fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles."
My response: Let's think about trading in the government officials who got us into this situation.
Gas costs don't faze high earners
It is said that people have become more tolerant of higher gasoline prices. My theory is that a lot of people make good wages, so the higher prices don't faze them.
Reasons for rise in gas cost untrue
I am tired of all the lame excuses given by oil companies and our government for the high price of oil ("It's complicated," editorial, Feb. 24).
Do oil companies believe the public is that ignorant? Why don't they come clean and say it like it is. The reason they can gouge us at the pump is because they can get away with it.
North Erie Street
Tax cut, gas hike contradictory
The President battles to continue a payroll tax break for the middle class, then watches that same middle class use that tax break to fill up their vehicles at the gasoline pump.
Adding salt to that wound is Mr. Obama telling Americans that there is no quick fix to rising gas prices that have more than doubled while he has been in office.
Global warming simply a cycle
Of the top 10 winters on record, four of them were between 1875-1882 ("'Winter that wasn't' ranks 10th-warmest," March 1). As an amateur meteorologist, like many people are, I understand a thing or two about reading weather history.
One interpretation of the data from that time is that America was in the midst of global warming.
The late 1800s did not have gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and factories emitting tremendous amounts of carbon dioxide and causing a greenhouse effect. Was it the emission of all the cows and horses? That would be OK by today's do-gooders, because it would be considered organic.
Perhaps that global warming that occurred in that period was just a cycle. If so, can't the period we are in now be a normal weather cycle?
No, because former Vice President Al Gore and others spew data that are politically correct and not based on facts. Mr. Gore makes a lot of money spewing verbal garbage around this beautiful country. That adds to global warming because it makes decent, clear-thinking Americans hot.
Paul Joseph Reynolds
Columnist's critic uses broad brush
The writer of the March 6 Readers' Forum letter "Islam's image still questioned," in his irritation with op-ed columnist Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, painted with a broad brush when he cited "atrocities committed by entire Muslim nations."
Which "entire Muslim nations" have committed atrocities? Groups such as al-Qaeda and the Taliban can be implicated in the gross distortion of the most basic teachings of Islam.
The dispossession of the Palestinians and their continued dehumanization by Israel is more reminiscent of a threat of genocide than is possible from minimally armed Palestinian militia and rock-throwing teenagers.
Should the March 11 gun-rampage by a U.S. serviceman in Afghanistan that killed 16 Afghan civilians be blamed on American hegemony, or the result of a disturbed mind?
As Americans and practitioners of our personal faiths, we must separate the actions of individuals from the practice of entire nations, and especially from the teachings of their religions.
Our national socio-political conversation should be dispassionate and based on evidence rather than baseless imaginings. These just serve to inflame and to become the problem rather than the solution.
Editor's Note: The letter writer is president of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
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