Readers Write 8/19

TRANSPORTATION

Another agency is not what Atlanta needs

When I first moved to Atlanta in the mid-1970s, there was a MARTA bus at virtually every intersection. My commute was a 10-minute ride on one of three routes, and two of those stopped in front of my apartment. Then the train came, the bus routes dried up and intown traffic exploded. Anne Fauver is right (“Peachtree streetcar won’t serve purpose,” Opinion, Aug. 8). Atlanta needs improved surface transportation from MARTA, not another transportation agency. There were once over 20 routes inside town that were as efficient as the No. 110 bus. Bring them back. Use the grant money to study additional route feasibility. Take some of those federal dollars; trick up a few buses to look like streetcars, and let MARTA maintain them in their fleet. Maybe those small changes could convince Atlanta to begin a comprehensive transport plan.

Mary Hansen, Atlanta

HEALTH CARE

If we all want the same, why all the shouting?

Normally, Thomas Sowell’s columns leave me poised to shoot off a knee-jerk response, and “Control is the operative word in health debate” (Opinion, Aug. 11) was no exception. After all, the fears he expresses — bureaucrats making medical decisions, rather than doctors — are a chief complaint of those of us calling for reform. And that’s what struck me — those who are arguing against health care reform are using the exact arguments those of us on the left have been using against HMOs and insurance companies for years. So, all of us have the same wishes and fears — we want to control our own health care, we want to be able to afford it, and we want the final decisions made by our doctor, not by a bean counter. The only difference is that the right defines the bureaucrat as a government official, and the left defines the bureaucrat as a corporate accountant. If we all want the same thing, why is there so much shouting and anger?

Brad Rudy, Marietta

EMPLOYMENT

Paying a ‘living wage’ would set good example

Doug Gatlin sees no downside in raising the minimum wage (“Does raising the minimum wage help the economy?” Opinion, Aug. 11). According to him, raising wages would be a powerful economic stimulus, save the government money and not hurt businesses. Wonderful! The only problem, Gatlin says, is that the present minimum wage is not high enough. Gatlin could set a good example by paying a “living wage” to anyone who works for him. Check the hourly income of your garbage collector. It’s not $50? Chip in the difference. Make sure your baby sitter gets a couple of hundred for her four hours of work. Got a maid? Make her happy with a living wage.

Walter Inge, Atlanta

POLITICS

Resentment created will last a long, long time

The recent “nay” vote on Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court by many Republican senators was another missed opportunity to gain support from the Latino community, which continues to feel isolated by this group. Don’t these politicians understand the shifting demographics in America? The resentment they created will last for generations to come.

Jesus Juarez, Atlanta