Readers write, Feb. 27

VEHICLE TAGS

Confederate banner is symbol of segregation

I am outraged that the state is issuing “vanity” plates that feature the Confederate flag (“Confederate flags fly on some Ga. car tags,” News, Feb. 19). I am a white, 76-year-old white woman, and I remember the inhumanity of segregation in my Florida hometown and in the rest of the South when I was growing up. This flag has been the banner of the white supremacists for as long as I can remember. Any attempt to rationalize the “stars and bars” as a benign symbol of regional pride ignores the ugliness and horror of slavery and the 100 years of oppression that followed its abolition.

CAROLYN GEHL, CANTON

MINIMUM WAGE

Higher pay more likely to benefit the economy

Why are conservatives always taking the negative spin when it comes to raising the minimum wage? They are far too short-sighted. What happened when large unions held out for higher wages? The country did not go into the tank. Do you think all of these minimum-wage workers will stuff their extra wages under the mattress? Immediately, all of their extra money will be put back into the economy in taxes, housing, food, entertainment, etc., because all workers want to raise their standard of living. The end results: Factories will have to produce more, which means they will start to hire more workers.

Why is this not a positive change that would offset the negatives that conservatives love to preach about? It’s the same kind of talk that was so prevalent when air bags and higher gas mileage were mandated for cars. Auto sales have never really suffered because of those mandates, and small businesses and employment will survive an increase in the minimum wage.

EARL LITTLE, MABLETON

MILITARY

Proposed cuts betray all who served nation

I watched with great misgivings the speech by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about cutting our military strength (“Hagel: U.S. military must get smaller,” News, Feb. 25). This is typical of our “big government” philosophy of turning our backs on those that made us great.

I spent the early part of my career working for a railroad and paid into railroad retirement at twice the rate of Social Security. To accommodate a need to prop up Social Security, railroad retirement was combined with it, and my expected pension was reduced as a result. Later, I was recruited by the Federal Railroad Administration for my experience, which resulted in a further reduction to my benefits due to so called “double dipping.” In addition, my Social Security benefit was further reduced by taxing 85 percent of it because of my income.

Welcome to the world of big government and broken promises, U.S. military. You, like me, will hardly be able to recognize the country you so selflessly supported.

WILLIAM FLETCHER, PEACHTREE CITY

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.