Freedom Socialist newspaper — Letters to the Editor

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COAL EXPORTS

Solar the answer

About your article on the U.S. trying to export coal to Asia: may I suggest that the best way to shut down coal mines is for the workers in each city to petition for a feed-in tariff requiring Utilities to pay $.54 kwh for 20 years to homeowners and farmers who harvest solar energy and feed it onto the grid [A dirty business: Coal export terminals meet rising opposition, Vol. 34, No. 1].

In this way solar can replace coal as a source of energy. Plus this will create millions of new jobs for solar installers, as the feed-in tariff has done in Germany.

Germany just shut down half its nuclear plants in 2012, because they realized they were making enough energy from home based solar utilities.

So they did: click, click, click. Germany will shut down all its nukes by 2022, thanks to their solar feed-in tariff policy creating huge amounts of clean, safe, solar energy, 500,000 jobs and cash flow.

This will inevitably eliminate the big four utilities by giving energy policy control to the 99 percent and taking control from the 1 percent.

You can build a solar future by petitioning for a feed-in tariff in your city. See the free Youtube documentary: Solar Power Revolution — Here Comes the Sun.

Paul Kangas, founding member, Peace & Freedom Party, San Francisco


HENRY NOBLE

Respected labor leader

Great interview and several great lines like: “Capitalism is a global menace.” Yes! You gave credit all over and kept the focus on the movement, not on yourself. Well done.

Lots of good articles. They reflect what goes on here, just change the names and places. Amazing! The community college here has been going through similar but not as draconian cuts as in SF. The business model, the global menace of capitalist dictatorship, is the problem, not the answer.

Bill McCoy, Rochester, N.Y.


PUBLIC TRANSIT

Attacks on services

I’m a retired TriMet light rail operator and still in touch with the Amalgamated Transit Union and very much concerned with public transit issues. So I was very impressed with Linda Averill’s excellent Soapbox piece [Class, climate, and the need for free transit, Vol. 34, No. 1].

It is striking how parallel our situations are. It is emblematic of the attack on public services (and public employees) in general that we are currently experiencing in this retrograde society.

Thank you for bringing to light some of the aspects of the attack on this particular — and very crucial — public service in which we have both worked.

Luke Anavi, Portland, Ore.


BEHIND BARS

United in struggle

Your message is a breath of fresh air. We live under the whimsical power of a corrupt politically economic dictatorship founded and fueled by a policy of unequal distribution of wealth and racism and classism. The policies of industrialization leave us (the masses) disempowered, frustrated, feeling abandoned, and under constant attack and threat. The alternative is to join together in a united conscious struggle toward truth and the expansion of ideas. We live and die in this struggle.

Rising up in the struggle of the U.S. prison system from the hole, at MCI Norfolk, Mass.

Duncan Purdy, aka Duke Oneblood Trueblood, PO Box 43, Norfolk, Mass 02056


ECONOMIC ISSUES

Making it clear

I wish to take a moment to commend Dennis Sanders and Steve Hoffman for two clearly written and compelling articles on income inequality [The deficit vs. income inequality] and the fiscal cliff [Preparing to sacrifice the poor and elderly, in the recent paper [Vol. 34, No. 1].

They took dry and difficult data and made it not just comprehensible and interesting to a not-too-bright geezer like me, but also presented it in such a way to make my blood boil in anger and want to take to the streets.

Obama promised during the campaign to defend the middle class and end the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich. What does he do? He ends the payroll-tax freeze which affects 77 percent of working American families while increasing the tax rate a measly 4.6 percent on families making over $450,000 — a tax burden that’s mere pocket change for the superrich.

In addition, Obama throws a further bone to his wealthy pals by increasing the money exception on the estate tax in a country with the third lowest social mobility rate of any in the industrialized West.

Is it any wonder the stock market climbed so dramatically in January? Who needs Romney?

Roger Fraser, Rolling Meadow, Ill.

Higher wages, not tax cuts

I am writing in response to Steve Hoffman’s statement that “every worker will get a 2 percent pay cut as the Social Security payroll tax goes up” [Preparing to sacrifice the poor and elderly, “Vol. 34, No. 1]. This is a gross misrepresentation. The Social Security tax did “go up” by 2 percent, starting January 1, 2013. The tax was restored to its previous 6.2 percent rate, as it has been since 1990.

Workers do not need a tax cut at all. What they need is higher wages, and they would be able to afford higher taxes, to pay for programs like single-payer health care and free public education through university level.

I am appalled at the way the left has jumped onto the anti-tax band wagon. In a true socialist nation, taxes are high, not just for the rich, but for workers as well. That’s what pays for social services. Yes, our tax code needs reform, but we should not rely only on the rich to pay taxes.

Marian Rhys, Portland, Ore.


The FS welcomes your feedback, opinions, and resource info. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@socialism.com.

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