Letters

Make tech work attractive to those already trained in it

Regarding the April 20 Opinion piece by Andrew J. Rotherham and Kevin Carey, "Expand the pool of America's future scientists": To those who feel that America needs to educate more scientists and engineers to remain competitive, trying to fix the problem in our high schools is the wrong solution.

Instead, they should look at this nation's graduate programs that are attracting hordes of engineers who are now bailing out of their high-tech careers. The US already has plenty of workers with the knowledge and ability to work in technology. Too many of them have discovered that they will have a more stable and lucrative career doing something else.

In 2004, I left engineering to become a realtor after spending 10 years designing cellular phones and computer chips. I took my classes in the heart of Silicon Valley, three blocks from Intel headquarters (where I used to work). In my class of 44, 42 were tech workers. If these people couldn't be convinced to continue working in high tech, how are we going to convince high school students to do it?
Daniel Schein
San Jose, Calif.

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Evangelicals disagree on climate change

Regarding the March 23 article, "Hot topic gets warm support": Release of the Evangelical Climate Initiative's "Call to Action" doesn't demonstrate any change in thinking among evangelicals. None of the 86 signers was known previously as a global warming skeptic. The call's main promoters have long pushed global warming alarmism. None of the signers has expertise in climate science or the economics of climate-change policy.

In contrast, topic-qualified evangelical experts - such as Dr. Roy Spencer, senior research scientist in global warming at the University of Alabama; Dr. Ken Chilton of the Institute for the Study of Economics and the Environment at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.; and I, a cofounder of the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance - remain convinced that the science does not support the alarmism of the Call to Action and that its carbon emissions-reduction policy would devastate the world's poor but not significantly reduce global warming.

The big news isn't that 86 evangelical leaders lacking expertise in climate change and economics endorsed the call, but that the National Association of Evangelicals, representing 30 million members, agreed that there is no consensus on the issue.
E. Calvin Beisner
Spokesman, Interfaith Stewardship Alliance
Pembroke Pines, Fla.

On taxes: simplicity vs. fairness

In response to the April 14 Opinion piece by Dick Armey, "Imagine an e-z tax season, over in minutes": It is not fair to tax all income at the same rate because not all income is the same. Take the example of a share of stock someone buys for $100. After five years of 5 percent inflation, he sells it for $120. Has the person gained $20 in income, or lost $7.50 in purchasing power? There are other cases: income from annuities where part of the payment is simply a return of invested funds, dividends on stock which have already been taxed once to the corporation, etc. Mr. Armey's proposal is just another example of saying that every complex problem has a simple solution, which is completely wrong.
Jerome V. White
Amherst, N.H.

I couldn't agree more with Dick Armey and his assessment of our complex US tax code. Here's a solution: Require every member of Congress to prepare his or her own tax return one year. By hand. You'd see the laws simplified by April 16.
Bill Deegan
Phoenix

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