First stimulus deal benefited wealthy
The unemployment rate is now at 6.7%, not a good number.
But the stock market keeps on going up. From a low on March 23 at the beginning of covid to now, the stock market has increased 60%.
The losers have been then the average worker and small businesses. The winner has been the stock market.
The stimulus packages supported by the Republicans favored the wealthy and large corporations. It has been estimated that over half of all the money went to people and corporations who simply did not need the help.
The money going to large corporations was used to increase dividends, buy back stocks and just adding to profit. All had the result of increasing the stock price but not employment.
Historically, the wealthy buy bonds and stocks with extra money. Bond interest rates are extremely low, so buying bonds was not a practical option. As a result, the wealthy bought stocks which contributed to the increase in stock prices. The wealthy made millions.
Why were the stimulus packages designed to help the wealthy and corporations? The wealthy and corporations contribute to political campaigns. Like Mitch McConnell says, “This is not rocket science.”
The stimulus packages producing trillions of dollars of deficit ,which will be a big problem in the future. The international value of the dollar has already gone down on average of 6%, which means inflation for us. Will the next stimulus package help us or help large corporations and the wealthy more?
Who really won the 2020 election?
In reference to the Dec. 15 Gazette headline “It’s official: Biden won election” it should have read “It’s official China won election.”
Thomas A Romano, Sr.
Protect health care workers. Wear a mask
As a healthcare provider, I am asking readers to put aside the politicization that has been so much a part of the pandemic and focus on masking in public.
I understand that not everyone believes that masking makes a difference in reducing transmissibility.
If one can accept that possibly it makes a difference, is there really any reason not to follow CDC recommendations and wear a mask in public as long as one doesn’t have a medical condition that might worsen as a result of masking?
Medical professionals do not have the ability to perform their jobs from the safety of their homes. They are leaving their homes every day to serve the public, and when doing so they encounter individuals who still refuse to wear masks in public settings. I personally saw evidence of that recently.
Health care workers are tired and yet continue to work extended hours to meet the public health demands. They don’t complain. They simply go to work and do their jobs under incredibly stressful conditions, putting their own health at risk.
The general public owes it to these dedicated professionals to wear a mask. If I cannot convince someone of this responsibility, then I only ask of that person to please sign up to volunteer in one of the urgent care facilities or emergency rooms. If you choose to do so, I will let you decide if you still opt not to wear a mask in that setting.
Dr. Christopher Buff
The writer is a staff member at Scotia Glenville Family Medicine of Saratoga Hospital.
Supreme Court stood up for the rule of law
Eighteen attorneys general, including 126 Republican House of Representatives members (some names were Kevin McCarthy, Ken Paxton, and Elise Stefanik), signed a formal lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, ignoring the founding principles and assaulting public faith in the electoral system.
Thank God the Supreme Court stood for the freedom of this country, which was almost taken away by these people who do not understand the rule of law. I’m not sure why. I hope the new Republican Party is not the Conspiracy Theory sick Qanon cult. Or maybe they were being loyal to a dictator. Shocking.
Trump is trying to destroy democracy
Trump has committed treason for his attempts to destroy our Democratic institutions.
It started with his trashing of our FBI and CIA to Putin, president of Russia. It continued with his constant attack on the press. He has done his best to destroy our environment. His response to COVID-19 was criminal and has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans.
However, his latest attack on our election system is disgusting and criminal. Our election system is what makes us a democracy. Trump is trying to destroy this American institution with his lies, and this is treasonable. Let’s face it, Trump wants to be a dictator like his buddy Putin. We are too close to losing our way of life.
And in like manner, any senators who support madman Trump in destroying our way of life also belong in jail for treason.
Signed, an American who cares.
Walter J. Morlock
Employers should put focus on skills
I felt elated when I read Peter Blair’s quote in the Dec. 6 Gazette article (“Researchers: Up to 30 million U.S. have skills to earn 70 percent more”) that “We need to rethink who is skilled, and how skills are measured and evaluated.”
I doubt any interviewers will read this and see themselves, but I recognized this issue several years ago.
The article states those without four-year degrees cannot climb the income ladder and a few major companies are considering dropping the college degree requirement in favor of focusing on skills. However, not all four-year graduates are doing better economically than those without degrees.
I’m a low-wage retail worker with a four-year degree. Skills are rarely discussed in interviews. I made countless mistakes on interviews and tried doing different things, but the main priority looks like hiring a fun, well-rounded team player and someone of a certain appearance who will be most attractive to the whole staff. Let’s not forget the “Me Too” movement.
I searched reliable sources for skills required from past employment, desired employment and credentials, and I formed a credible connection. But the social agenda still rules. I suspect there’s also class bias. My suggestion is, require half of jobs, public or private, be filled mainly by using skills assessments.
Until then, perhaps a master’s degree (or two) will permit me to obtain a median-wage job shortly before my former schoolmates get ready to retire. And then maybe I can achieve some wage gains.
Vaccine won’t be effective on everyone
I read your Dec. 6 editorial (“As covid cases spike, compassion must reign.”) The first part concerning the Connecticut woman was spot-on. Her remarks were simply foolish. However, as your editorial continues, you, unfortunately, fall into an all too familiar trap.
It seems that so many of us go into anaphylactic shock when we learn that (as of Dec. 8) a little more than 4% of the population is infected with covid (with a death rate of 1.91%).
Yet, the fact that even with a fully vaccinated nation (which if any of the polls is accurate isn’t even a remote probability), the inoculation is sure to be ineffective on at least 10% of the population (35M) will send many of us into the streets — partying? Wow! The mind works in mysterious ways.
I’ve heard too many people respond to the above: “Yes, but I’ll be getting the vaccine, so it won’t matter.” And you are supremely confident that you won’t be among the 35M that have no immunity to the virus? 14.8M infected sends you to the bomb-shelter, while 35M potential carriers with no defense against covid gives you a huge sense of relief? Seems that the tune played by the Pied Piper of New York (Cuomo) has entranced a sorry lot of us.
Anyone ever hear of herd immunity? As E.E. Cummings wrote: “pity this busy monster, manunkind, not.”
Frank J. Ciervo
Gazette supports pot over free speech
I would have liked to reply on my computer to the opinion page about Sandy “Rogo” Roginski’s wonderful Dec. 8 letter (“Fire pundits and lower our cable bills”). Unfortunately, I can’t because my Facebook account has been deleted, as I have apparently upset the community.
I believe it was my criticism of Democrats that has led to this.
I find it shocking that your paper can advertise an illegal substance and it is OK. Apparently, it’s better to introduce my community to cannabis than to free thought.
Editor’s Note: We did not, and have no authority to, suspend your Facebook account. Also, the ads for cannabis are only from states where it is legal.
Don’t get behind the wheel while impaired
The magic of the holidays is upon us. Despite COVID-19, we are all trying to be positive and have a sense of normalcy for the last month of 2020.
Even with small gatherings around the region with family and friends, this can be a dangerous time on our local roads.
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. This month highlights the consequences of impaired driving, reminding us all that any sort of substance, alcohol or drug impaired, is considered impaired driving.
In New York state, you can be arrested for being under the influence. Aggravated driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated, driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, driving while ability impaired by a drug, driving while ability impaired by alcohol or driving under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs.
It takes roughly 30 minutes to two hours for alcohol to be absorbed into your bloodstream. During this time, your breathing may slow down and your cognitive skills may be delayed. Some other reactions might be slowed reaction time, a decrease in vision, reduced concentration and lack of coordination. Because of this, it is always dangerous to drink/drug and drive.
If you or anyone you know needs assistance with substance abuse, please call New Choices Recovery Center at 518-346-4436 or visit www.newchoicesrecovery.org.
The writer is a prevention specialist at New Choices Recovery.
Hope on the horizon after all we’ve endured
As I write this little note, what more can one say than, “Hang in there folks – the best is yet to come!” May God help us all.
Biden voters made the wrong choice
Nice job, Biden voters! Way to go!
You chose an international influence peddler who has sold his honor, our country’s, (Wait. That’s odd. The last presidential candidate for whom you likely voted was an international influence peddler, too.) and his crooked family’s to Communist China.
But…but, “Orange Man Bad!” you sputter. Your white hot, irrational hate for President Trump, whose lousy speaking skills, poor grasp of English grammar, juvenile phraseology, and that hair, offends your enlightened, delicate sensibilities so much that you refuse to acknowledge real achievements.
Who cares about record prosperity, record employment, real hourly wage growth, an extra $6,000/year in every pocket; Trump’s tweets are just icky.
Who cares about reducing illegal immigration so American workers can keep their jobs; Trump exaggerates things, he overuses “fantastic!” Who cares about bringing our soldiers home while starting no new wars, or the Abraham Accords bringing peace to Israel; Trump is a former reality TV personality.
Who cares that our news media and establishment class of overfed bureaucrats lied for four years about President Trump. The New York (“What if it was true?”) Times prints such unflattering editorials about him.
Who cares about a lightning-fast response to a national public health crisis producing ventilators, PPE, beds in ships and mobile hospitals, a vaccine in record time; your friends just don’t like him. So, you voted for Biden. Whoopee.
Time to change our landlordism system
Eviction moratoria expire at the beginning of the year.
Recent estimates place the number of renters subject to eviction at 11.4 million owing $70 billion. 2021 could see an unprecedented number of evictions and rise in homelessness nationally.
This is testament to the utter failure of both duopoly capitalist parties to adequately respond to the coronavirus pandemic, and their intransigent hostility to the needs of regular and working class people.
Landlordism is a holdover from feudalism, a capitalist transformation of feudal relationships, which is why we retain the use of ‘lord’ in their name.
In feudalism, serfs paid rent to their lord for the supposed privilege of using their lord’s property. This relationship is inherently authoritarian, exploitative and antithetical to the free society this country was imagined to be.
Landlords are a parasite class that contribute no value to the economy.
The societal crisis that the pandemic exacerbated emphasizes the long term need to abolish landlordism, and transition to a housing model based around resident ownership, community land trusts and cooperatives.
In the short term, we need to pressure local, state and federal politicians to continue eviction moratoria, as well as a cancellation of this debt. We need to also organize as communities to prevent evictions.
There is local precedent for this form of organized community justice to protect residents.
We need only look to the mid-19th century Anti-Rent War that overthrew the patroon system in New York, particularly the Van Rensselaers, who were the landlords of the Capital Region.
Don’t make a fuss; just be who you are
I am having trouble understanding what seems to be occurring on a daily basis. It’s the prolific number of people coming out as LGBTQ (non-traditional lifestyles).
Why must these people announce it to the world on who they are or what they feel is right? Recently, an actress came out and stated that he is transgender, and all the world showered him with praises of the bravery and courage.
My answer is “why.” This is America. You can be who you want when you want. I ask myself what the “self-outers” are really seeking?
Chris Rock had a perfect line: “So what do want a cookie?” Most people could not care less one way or the other about a person’s identity issue. Most people have bills to pay or rugs to vacuum.
What I believe is that as long as you don’t hurt children or defenseless animals, enjoy your life any way you see fit and whatever laws and public safety allow.
Well come to think of it, I have just decided to come out, too. I am now known as “soap box shouter.”
Now get me that damn cookie.
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