Naysayers were opposed to Social Security, too
Fred Barney [March 14 letter] and others who oppose a minimum wage increase should revisit history.
The year was 1935, and the hue and cry was about the introduction of Social Security. The American Medical Association denounced the new law as a “compulsory socialistic tax.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called it “economically preposterous and legally indefensible.” A Republican congressman from New York said “never in history has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent ... recovery.”
The National Association of Manufacturers went so far as to predict that “so-called Social Security will mean industrial insecurity.” All over the country, opponents of Social Security (or “Roosevelt’s Welfare Plan”) said it was an attempt to Sovietize the country, and also referred to it as un-American, utopian, impractical and radical.
I would suggest Mr. Barney and others who oppose a living wage, along with those who oppose the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), reread or look into the history of and need for these reforms. I would point to the Factory Inspection Law passed (against strong business opposition) because of the 1911 Triangle Shirt Waist Factory fire that killed 146 women. Or, in the early 1900s, limiting the hours women could work to 54 a week.
Edward F. Wagner
Politicians are doing it to us, instead of for us
We elect politicians to solve problems that affect us, but as far as I can see they have done just the opposite.
We have problems such as education, obesity, health, housing and addictions to drinking, gambling and drugs — along with the rest of the people who are addicted to texting and computerized materials. I’m trying to figure out how our politicians helped solve our problems when they legalized drinking, gambling and, now, drugs.
I would say political leaders have not been solving any of our problems. To put it bluntly, they are the ones who have created more problems. They are always telling us that they are trying to help us, yet when they make foolish decisions to legalize drinking, gambling and drugs, they just create addictions for our citizens.
Legalizing the above destroys individuals, wrecks families, increases crime and ultimately costs society far more than the government makes.
Walter “Neal” Brazell
Sch’dy jazz breakfast for a worthy cause
On March 16, a dedicated group of parents (Schenectady Friends of Music), music students in our city’s schools and some very dedicated music teachers put on a fund-raiser breakfast at Applebee’s.
Students and teachers from the Mont Pleasant Middle School, Central Park Middle School and the high school performed jazz while patrons ate a pancake breakfast. Enthusiasm and goodwill were so thick you could cut them with a knife.
Proceeds benefit the music program, covering costs of many things ranging from uniforms for the high school choir to registration fees.
For example, Schenectady Friends of Music covers the cost of sending our city’s music students to the SUNY Oneonta Jazz Festival. It offers our students opportunities which they would not otherwise have!
We hear about the many problems in our schools. Let’s take a moment to celebrate something very good that is happening: Youngsters and adults coming together to make music and have a good time. And let’s not forget the hard-working teachers who donated their Sunday morning to help the youngsters make wonderful music a reality!
In the interest of full disclosure, I am the parent of one of the participants.
Tuesday’s editorial incorrectly attributed the Metro-North crash last December to a fatigued conductor. An engineer was driving the train.