Letters to the Editor
Advocating for Universal Healthcare
While I consider the universal insurance coverage of the Baucus Plan a
stopgap measure for a single-payer government administered health
service, the immediate need to reform the healthcare delivery system
overrides my reluctance. May I remind our readers to watch carefully the
vote of Senator Arlen Specter, whose moderation has been draining like
an air conditioner with a bad condenser leak. Senator Specter will be up
for re-election in 2010, and should not once again be re-elected because
of his seniority in the Senate, because of his ancient Watergate vote,
or because of another election year conversion to environmental quality.
When chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Specter and his colleagues
approved Bush nominees whom Specter would not have entertained in his
woodshed -- the very kind of ideologues whom Specter denounced in
December of 2004, but (threatened by removal from the chairmanship)
which he was forced to recant like Henry IV and Gallileo before the
-- Ben Burrows, Elkins Park, PA
Seeking 1970-1974 BBYO Members
We are a small group trying to find those friends that were part of
Philadelphia BBYO Greater Philadelphia region from 1970 to 1974. We are
beginning to put together a reunion. If you were a member or know someone
that was please have them contact either our website or email
-- Michael Schwartz, Holland, PA
Put Money Into Jobs
The incoming administration and congress are developing an economic stimulus plan of about $800 billion, which is supposed to create approximately three million jobs. The jobs will evolve from projects designed to rebuild and replace our roadways, bridges, dams, and possibly runways. Schools will be upgraded. There could be substantial funding of energy projects, which will hopefully reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
We need quick turnaround projects ready to be implemented within 90 days of funding.
Unfortunately, about $300 billion of the $800 billion economic plan will go to tax cuts for individuals ($200 billion) and businesses ($100 billion), and not create jobs. The tax rebates parceled out in the spring of 2008 did not stimulate the economy because $66 billion of the $78 billion in rebates went into savings accounts or used to pay down debts. Businesses might use the tax cuts to pay down debt and buy back stock.
The incoming administration should not put the $300 billion into tax cuts, but should use the entire $800 billion to create good paying U.S. jobs, while improving our infrastructure, upgrading school resources, promoting alternative energy programs, increasing domestic oil production and reducing the importation of foreign oil.
-- Donald A. Moskowitz, Londonderry, NH
Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would restore middle class
The Jewish tradition teaches us that dignity in the workplace elevates the human spirit. Over the past several decades, workers’ rights have steadily eroded and economic inequality has deepened. We believe the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would help reestablish a sense of balance in our economic system and restore our middle class.
One of most prevalent misconceptions of EFCA is that it would abolish the secret ballot. This is not true. Under the proposed legislation, workers get to choose the union formation process – secret ballot elections or majority sign up. What EFCA does prevent is an employer manipulating the flawed system to influence the election outcome.
Imagine a political election in which Candidate A has total and exclusive access to the voters for 8 hours a day, can require voters to attend meetings at which he tells the voters all the reasons why voting for Candidate B would be bad for them and their community. Meanwhile, Candidate B has little or no information about who the voters are, only has access to them at the beginning or end of their work day, and has no systematic means for rebutting Candidate A’s claims.
Imagine further that Candidate A was found to have violated the law by intimidating voters or firing those who expressed support for Candidate B and that the penalty for violating the law consisted merely of a public apology.
This scenario mirrors the current NLRB election process.
EFCA would restore workplace democracy and fairness. It is a way of balancing the scales of justice and of giving workers rights that most of us would take for granted.
As the Jewish community continues to champion poverty reduction, EFCA provides a real path to economic security so many workers are currently denied.
-- Rabbi Elliot Holin, Congregation Kol Ami
-- Rabbi Robert Layman, Interim director, Board of Rabbis
-- Rabbi Morchechai Liebling, Jewish Funds for Justice
-- Rabbi Marc Margolius
-- Rabbi Linda Holtzman, Mishkan Shalom
-- Jeff Hornstein, President, Phila Jewish Labor Committee
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Acting Editor-in-chief Daniel Loeb publisher @ pjvoice.com.
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