Readers Write 7/10

HEALTH CARE

Response to “Hospital execs get $1 million salaries.” News, July 3

I compliment the AJC on this very informative, fact-filled and balanced examination of tax-exempt hospitals. I would love to see many more of these “watchdog” articles. The first paragraph sums up the problem very nicely: hospitals are cutting staff, Medicare and Medicaid funding is being cut, and Georgians are being forced into bankruptcy by soaring medical bills.

As one advocate states: “The waste in health care is marbled throughout the system.” The rising cost of U.S. health care and the inability of more and more Americans to afford even its most basic features are really two aspects of one problem. For-profit delivery of health care will always be dysfunctional.

There is only one answer for this two-horned problem: improved Medicare for all. How long will it take for us to finally figure this out?

Claude Crider, Waleska

GOVERNMENT

Governors, presidents can’t create jobs

Jim Shallis recently wrote to castigate the governor on his failure to create jobs during the first six months of his administration (“It’s time for the governor to get to work on jobs,” Readers write, Opinion, July 3).

The only jobs a governor (or president, for that matter) can create are government jobs, which we all know are dreadfully nonproductive. We certainly don’t need more government jobs, with bloated state and federal bureaucracies now sucking up every spare cent. Mr. Shallis needs to remember that every government job created pays taxes; however, only if they were taxed at 100 percent would there be any way for the government to recoup the expense.

The only thing governors and presidents can do in the way of job creation is to get themselves and their governments out of the way.

F.M. Ashmore, McDonough

SMOKING

Why bars, clubs should also be smoke-free

The American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association support the DeKalb smoke-free ordinance as proposed by the DeKalb Board of Health, without exclusions for bars or strip clubs (“DeKalb mulls expanded smoking ban,” ajc.com, July 1).

In the landmark report The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, the U.S. Surgeon General found there is no safe level of secondhand smoke exposure, and the only way to offer protection against exposure is to establish smoke-free environments.

Because of the thousands of smoke-free air laws throughout the United States, most Americans now live in communities where smoking is prohibited in all workplaces, including restaurants and bars. South Carolina passed 41 of these ordinances, and Savannah enacted a similar ordinance Jan. 1.

A vast amount of scientific evidence indicates there is little to no negative economic impact of smoke-free air policies to businesses.

Secondhand smoke kills 53,000 nonsmoking Americans yearly. All employees, whether they work in office buildings or bars and restaurants, should be afforded equal protection when it comes to the air they breathe.

June Deen, Georgia State Director, American Lung Association

COMMUNITY

Moved by motorist’s display of kindness

I recently caught a long light waiting to cross Roswell Road. On the corner was an older gentleman with a cane, who was obviously afflicted with a condition that affected his mobility.

A Mercedes behind me pulled out of line, turned into a strip mall, and parked. A well-dressed businessman in his 30s got out of the Mercedes; walked up to the man, whispered something in his ear, pressed the right crosswalk button, slid his arm under the older man’s arm and when the light changed, he slowly walked the older gentleman across the street, step by step.

This was very, very moving and so perfect on so many levels. We are lucky to live here, where examples of kindness abound.

Mike Todaro, Marietta

IMMIGRATION

Deport all who are here illegally; then go further

With immense respect for illegal immigrants, I believe it is past time to close down this invasion of our country. Many claim there are millions of illegals in the United States. What we know is that this tidal wave opened the door to all those wanting to enter (including those wishing us harm). We are inviting into our kitchens political dissidents from around the world, who carry their frustrations with them.

We have long allowed an (almost) open-door policy for legal immigration, but we are reaching the point of flooding the life raft and allowing a shift in demographics and voter control. Political control will be held by a generation of expatriates of other nations, with much different agendas from those who built America.

I differ with those who say that it is not feasible to deport the numbers of illegals discussed. I say this is exactly what needs to be done. And while we are at it, we need to stop all legal immigration — until we sort out exactly where we stand on the absorption of those now here.

Felton Hudson, Stone Mountain

POLITICS

Perhaps the GOP is the new normal

In “The mother of all no-brainers” (Opinion, July 7), columnist David Brooks laments the fact that the Republican Party is not a “normal” political party. Just what is a normal political party? Is it a party that spends the nation into bankruptcy, that refuses to allow the country to develop its own energy resources, that allows an unelected board of bureaucrats to decree that a company cannot build a plant where it wishes and that seeks to restrict freedom of speech on talk radio? If that is what normal is, I’ll take abnormal, subnormal, paranormal, or supranormal any day.

Richard Dowis, Waleska