Peace talks need cooperation
Regarding the Sept. 20 opinion piece "Don't be cynical about the Middle East peace talks": P. Edward Haley makes a compelling argument. Since the 1993 handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin, the hopes of reaching a separate deal have resembled a roller-coaster ride. The step-by-step approach does not work. Every time there is a setback, blame is placed on parties that are purposely left out – presently Hamas, anti-Fatah parties, and Syria. The United States should have pursued policies that would make Hamas and Syria real stakeholders in the peace process. Their cooperation would improve the likelihood of success.
The mood on Main St.
The Sept. 13 cover story, "The mood on Main St.," and your editorial "Tough economy toughens US" complement each other well. The fact that a false (consuming) economy – construction, lending, real estate, etc. – created a bubble huge enough to suck so many into its excesses is underscored by the editors' statement that "consumers can't be counted on to lead the way to a strong recovery." That's how we got where we are. Our nation must retool, in both the physical and the mental sense, to become producers of goods for export. We have the know-how; let's back it up with the will.
This article offers a perfect example of why America is struggling. Notice the median household income for Eagle County is far above the median household income for Colorado. Why? Well, Eagle is more of a retirement or bedroom town for Vail, a ski resort. Nowhere do I find any manufacturing or agriculture. I am sure that in the past there was agriculture, such as cattle and sheep. Notice, too, that most of the businesses rely on the housing industry, which in turn relied on subprime loans and huge debt, which could not be sustained. America needs to get back to basic manufacturing and agriculture, with innovative ideas that exceed any other nation.
Kenneth Duane Scott
Scotts Mills, Ore.
Unfair tax cuts
Regarding the debate, "Should all the Bush tax cuts be extended?" (Sept. 13): The most egregious of the cuts is that unearned income (capital gains and dividends) is only taxed at a flat rate of 15 percent. This means that a wealthy person who derives his or her income from investments pays a lower rate than someone making $35,000 per year who actually works each day. This goes against the long-held American values of hard work, fair play, and equal opportunity for all. Letting the Bush cuts expire will get the tax code back to valuing real work and workers.
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.