It is amazing that someone as out of touch with reality as Joe Nocera could become a columnist for the New York Times ("401(no way OK)," op-ed, May 1).
Imagine his amazement that when he reduces his 401(k) -- splitting it when he divorced and further drawing it down for a home-renovation project -- it no longer will support his retirement in the manner he hoped.
He quotes Teresa Ghilarducci, a "behavioral economist at the New School" -- whatever qualification that is -- as using Mr. Nocera's example to prove her opinion that: "The 401(k) is a failed experiment. It is time to rethink it."
That makes about as much sense as saying a water glass is a failed experiment if you pour half the liquid out and wonder why the glass is not still full.
Editor's note: The writer is a consultant to Buckeye CableSystem, part of Block Communications Inc., the parent company of The Blade.
Nothing wrong with bell curve
Is Ohio's proposed school rating system a return to the old bell-shaped curve ("TPS can't be reduced to a letter grade," op-ed, April 1)? If so, what is wrong with that well-validated concept, which suggests that there are a few superior individuals, a few inferior performers, and a large number in the middle?
Many school boards are alarmed at discovering how their districts rate and obviously don't like it. These schools have to elevate their performance to out-compete others in the population measured.
The educators of my generation knelt at the altar of the Church of the Bell Shaped Curve. I suspect that the students felt they belonged to the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering.
Schools must be gun, drug-free
Toledo Public Schools and the City of Toledo need to come down hard on juveniles who bring drugs or guns to school ("2 youths held on gun charge; 1 accused of taking weapon to school, 2nd of discarding it," April 21).
These youths need to be expelled forever from TPS and from any Toledo charter schools that are funded by our tax dollars.
The parents of these juveniles need to be held accountable for their children's behavior. The parents should be made to take drug tests, so we can find out what is happening in homes that produce such children.
Obama socialist? Then count me in
I am a farmer and businessman who believes in free-market enterprise and our capitalistic system. I am confused by the April 29 letter writer who maintains that our President has a socialist philosophy ("Columnist wrong to rip Nugent, West," Readers' Forum).
Is saving the auto industry and its thousands of jobs, and helping hundreds of small businesses, including my own, socialism? Is giving thousands of people with pre-existing health conditions an opportunity to buy insurance socialism?
Is removing much of the al-Qaeda leadership and Osama bin Laden socialism? Is providing a stimulus package that saved thousands of jobs and helped to reduce unemployment socialism?
If so, I am voting socialist.
President Erie Orchards and Cider Mill Erie, Mich.
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