Slowing population growth a vital step in saving the planet
If you take global warming seriously, you must consider how to deal with it effectively.
For example, a sustainable energy policy requires a sustainable population policy. With the world well on its way to 9 billion residents by 2050 — all of whom will be wanting food and using resources — all the solar panels and windmills that can be built will not suffice to support a sustainable life style.
As a society, we have a number of options. We could continue to deny the implications of population growth and hope that the resulting decline in living standards is slow enough that our institutions replace the policy of denial by an effective population reduction policy.
Or we could let overpopulation lead to the chance evolution of new drug-resistant pathogens to reduce the population. One possibility is that the mutation of a nasty virus, such as AIDs, could result in a form that can live in air. Such changes could prove to be effective in reducing the population in urban centers, but not in a manner helpful to civilization.
Another option to limiting population in this country: a population policy that places severe limits on immigration and family size and end-of-life medical care. To do this would restrict government services to citizens, forcing people to assume the full cost of their choice to become parents and limiting health-care treatment options to only those who can be expected to lead productive lives, rather than linger with low-quality lives in nursing homes.
The only good thing I can say for the current generation’s policy of denial is that there is no possibility that our decedents will develop a form of ancestor worship.
Let aliens work and make those on welfare do so
In 2008, I proposed creating a system under which a foreign nationals (including illegals who turn themselves in) could sign up for a temporary work visa for up to 11 months (and go home for one), with medical coverage available during the period.
While I am not a lawyer, it shouldn’t be rocket science to massage this idea into a workable program to allow legal foreign unskilled workers to work at those tasks that citizens refuse to do (agriculture, cleaning/housekeeping and menial jobs, for instance).
Why not help those who have lost mobility to find and train for jobs where the mobility problem is minimized? Why not train those able-bodied people who don’t want to get a job, and make them go to work instead of taking the “dole.” I’m not saying to stop welfare for those who cannot work (mentally disabled or physically unable to do any work.
For 40 years, I have watched women on my street who are on the “dole” come out of their apartments (paid for by social services) at 10 a.m. with coffee and gossip; when asked why they don’t get a job, they respond along the lines of “why should they go to work when they can make more money on the ‘dole’?” And if they need more, they can have another child to increase their income.
I remember — when I worked for $1.25 an hour, swinging a scythe along county highways — that Saratoga County required able-bodied welfare recipients to work at summer jobs to keep their checks coming. A judge stopped that, saying it was wrong. Welfare doesn’t work! Education works!
Now that Mr. Obama has been reelected, I think I will try to find a cave to live in so I can minimize my interaction with politicians.
Tax system needs to be simpler, fairer
John A. Gaetani’s Dec. 2 letter reminds me of the Pink Floyd song, “Money,” or maybe Ten Years After’s “I’d like to change the world.” Ah! Taxing income is a sticky business, isn’t it?
There is some real value to be derived from tax equality in America. I haven’t been able figure out why dollars of earned income are worth so much less to the economy than dividend income or capital gains. We need to get away from the simplistic ideas of “tax the rich, feed the poor” and get to real consideration and discussion around how revenues are raised (and spent) in the United States.
There is too much at stake to reduce the current political and economic struggles to a battle between the haves and have-nots. Let’s all agree that we need a fair and simple taxation system that meets the needs of this great country in the 21st century.
Respect religions by using proper sacred terms
Our nation was created with Christian/Jewish heritage. It is disrespectful to Christians to call the parade a “holiday” parade. Our New York state Christmas tree is a Christmas tree.
Similarly, it would be disrespectful to Jews to call a menorah a “holiday” light. Teaching others to be respectful of sacred traditions may not be politically correct, but it is morally correct.
The Christmas tree and Santa Claus originated from Christian traditions. These symbols can be honored along with other faiths and pre-Christian traditions.
I encourage all who feel this way to call Gov. Cuomo. I honor my friends who are Jewish and Islamic on their sacred days; let’s honor Christians during the sacred season of Christmas.
Be vigilant of your constitutional rights or they will disappear.
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