Readers Write 11/24

Boortz doesn’t know apples from oranges

In “Moochers need free-market dose” (Opinion, Nov. 14), Neal Boortz uses an astonishingly inappropriate example to demonstrate the inability of government to compete with private enterprise: standing in line to mail a package at the post office as taking longer than getting one’s oil changed. To illustrate the silliness of the comparison, I note the number of post offices and oil change stations within four miles of my home in Marietta: one post office, and at least a dozen oil change stations. This level of thinking has been typical of the conservative side of the debate on the health care bill.

Henry L. Berryhill Jr., Marietta

LOTTERY

Monopoly employees don’t deserve bonuses

You have got to be kidding; bonuses for employees of a state- protected monopoly (“Lottery staff gets bigger bonuses,” News, Nov. 15). How about we legalize other forms of gambling in this state, and provide a little competition for the lottery? It would be interesting to see if the lottery would continue to “set records” if it was forced to compete with other forms of gambling. The state Legislature should either eliminate these bonuses, or let private industry compete with the state-sponsored monopoly.

George C. Pettrone, Snellville

ENVIRONMENT

Hike carbon fees and return to consumers

In “Climate bills are recovery killers” (Business, Nov. 15), Thomas Oliver waxes worrisome that the cap-and-trade approach to addressing climate change will kill economic recovery. The more pressing dilemma, however, is whether business-as-usual will kill the planet. We have already passed the threshold of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that scientists tell us is safe and sustainable.

There’s an alternative solution to climate change that can reduce CO2, with minimal impact on our economy: Place a steadily increasing fee on carbon and return the revenue to all households to offset higher energy costs. Raising the price of carbon will level the energy playing field, and make clean power competitive with fossil fuels. Giving the revenue back to consumers takes the sting out of increased utility bills. It may not be the best thing for Southern Company’s bottom line, but at this point, I’m more concerned with coastal Georgia’s water line.

Leigh Ann Ledbetter, Decatur

SOCIETY

Same-sex families deserve equal rights

Re: “Unequal rights for a model citizen” (Opinion, Nov. 11): I totally agree with the opinions expressed by Ellen Taylor. Families headed by same-sex couples should have the same rights and opportunities that are afforded to families headed by heterosexual couples.

How long will the state of Georgia deprive same-sex couples of the rights, privileges, opportunities and obligations that a legally recognized civil union or marriage would provide? Now is the time for Georgia to step up to the plate, and recognize the validity of a same-sex couple civil union/marriage.

Kathy Yancey, Atlanta

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