Readers write, Aug. 14

PUBLIC SPENDING

Taxpayers must know if officials take perks

Thank you for your articles, “Tax chief profits from selling others’ debts” (News, Aug. 11) and “Posh training for tax officials” (News, Aug. 12).

I am grateful for the investigative efforts in uncovering the continued abuse of our tax dollars — especially in an economy where the taxpayers are scrambling to afford health insurance, house payments or rent, utilities, etc. The voters need to be aware of officials who are milking the system for perks while the rest of us sit by and watch.

Our voices will be heard at the polls.

PATRICIA SILVERIA, BROOKHAVEN

INSURANCE COVERAGE

All women have right to safe, legal abortions

I was very disappointed to read that access to safe and legal abortion is being restricted to public employees in our state (“Ga. limits abortion coverage,” News, Aug. 9) .

Gov. Deal inferred many Georgians don’t want their taxes going towards a procedure that they find morally objectionable. I had no choice when my taxes paid for a war in Iraq that I felt was morally wrong. All I could do was vote out the administration that put us in that war. Restricting access to public employees sets up a system in which wealthy people will still have access to legal and safe abortions. Poorer people will not.

No one is forcing anyone who disapproves of abortion to have one. The procedure needs to be accessible to women who make the decision, along with their doctors and families, that an abortion is in their best interest. Women need to have the right to determine what is best for their lives and bodies — no matter who they work for, what state they live in, who their insurance carrier is, or how wealthy they are.

JULIE KIMBALL, SUWANEE

MINIMUM WAGE

Government shouldn’t dictate what’s fair pay

Mary Sanchez (“Why minimum wage is now everyone’s concern,” Opinion, Aug. 6) agrees with fast-food workers’ recent demand to raise the minimum wage, while Mike Luckovich pokes fun at the corporate profit motive that is supposedly at the expense of low-wage earners (Opinion, Aug. 9).

Unfortunately, the minimum wage debate seldom deviates from sheer pragmatics. Discussion typically revolves around the obvious financial benefit to those who would earn a higher hourly wage vs. the impact to businesses and potential reduction in entry-level positions.

The more compelling consideration is freedom. Should the federal and state governments have any involvement in compelling any private business to offer any specific wage for any position? No. The working relationship of a prospective employer and employee should be strictly their prerogative. Private businesses do not owe anyone a “living wage” or any amount other than the amount they freely agree upon.

That’s how freedom works. When governments manipulate markets by imposing their vision of “fairness,” we all lose some of our irreplaceable freedom.

ALAN FOSTER, ACWORTH