Readers Write: Sept. 16

Employers should train, develop talent

Is the skills gap really as large as employers claim? (“Ga. grads fall short in skills jobs require, News, Sept. 13). Of course, employers would like for others to pay for worker training. Most schools exist to provide broad education generally applicable to many areas of society, not just to specific employers. The lack of basic social skills that employers lament are due to cultural, neighborhood and family influences that schools have little chance of reversing. And that is regrettable. Regarding high-tech skills: employers are notorious “cherry pickers.” It is quite likely that a person with a bachelor’s degree in computer science will lack the exact skillset that an employer desires, yet they are highly trainable. Instead of developing such talent, employers look to such measures as visa programs. Cut off those programs and, all of a sudden, far more will be employable.


Prosecute those responsible for Iraq War

Now that we’re past 9/11, it’s time to face the fact that 9/12/01 is the day the Bush/Cheney junta set our country on a reckless, hubris-filled path to war against a country that had no role in the 9/11/01 attacks. Since that fateful day, America has abrogated its promise of being the “shining beacon on the hill.” All Americans should be absolutely ashamed of the actions of our government during those times. We should redouble our efforts to prosecute those who led us into an illegal, immoral war that murdered thousands of American servicemembers, physically and mentally maimed thousands, murdered innocent Iraqis and gave rise to all the problems that face us today.


Americans for Prosperity attack clean energy policy

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution printed a misleading op-ed from Michael Harden, Georgia director of Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP). (“Shed light on costly solar subsidies,” Atlanta Forward, Sept. 9). The Koch brothers, who have financial interests in coal and natural gas, have funded a network of anti-clean energy groups to spread misinformation attacking clean energy and climate policy. Harden relies on a single example to attack the Department of Energy’s clean energy loan guarantee program and, as such, presents a distorted view of reality. The $30 billion loan program for clean technology has actually been an extraordinary success with a 97.5 percent success rate. He also cites a flawed report from the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) that claims the EPA Clean Power plan will hurt low income communities.This chamber is funded by ExxonMobil, Southern Company, Koch Industries, Chevron and others. Policymakers should listen to credible sources, not front groups like AFP.

GABE ELSNER, executive director of the Energy & Policy Institute