Cadence Norris, a 5-year-old girl, was dropped off by her school bus driver Sept. 29 and left alone and scared, without her mother at home.

She started to walk 1½ miles along a busy street to get to her aunt’s house but was picked up by friends. What other option did she have but to walk home down that busy road?

Even though the drop-off spot was different that day, the driver still should have been aware of the switch. Or the bus driver should have known that it was morally and ethically wrong to leave an innocent 5-year-old girl alone at a bus stop.

The number of things that could have happened to this poor child are both scary and alarming. The mistake is now being covered up and called a “human error.” It is more like a lapse of judgment.

The bus driver should be talked to along with all the rest of the operators and supervisors. They should be put through a session to refresh them on the rules and guidelines in order to do their jobs right and keep the children safe like they’re supposed to.

This way there won’t have to be any other families that go through agony caused by terrible communication skills.

Emily White

Freshman, University of New England

Biddeford

 

Economic issues loom for political leadership

 

I cringe every time I hear the term “economic indicators.” How can the so-called experts continue to point to data gathered based on financial trends in what we know now as flawed economic structure that drove us here in the first place?

We need new measurements to better reflect today’s fiscal responsibility being displayed by the middle class trying to keep kids clothed, educated and fed.

How about measuring time between pay day and a major purchase? I guarantee this span has increased and less of the purchase is on credit. Another measurement is mileage on the primary vehicle. Trips are planned and not spur of the moment today.

Walmart has seen its first decline in a long time and experts want to blame it on the traditional economic indicators, but I say it is that people have gotten wise that Walmart’s main goal is to bring you in with low prices on a short list and having you leave with twice the items that were on your original list.

Home sales is another ridiculous indicator based on flawed financials. Flipping homes is not new but the volume of homes being flipped falsely inflated markets, causing sales figures to be bloated. Today’s sales are actually more in line with a stable housing market.

Sales rates should be driven by property seekers downsizing, upsizing, relocating or moving for availability of employment. That’s just what is going on in today’s market. Credit has tightened to a point where people that can pay on the loan get a loan.

Again indicators based on the loose qualifications of loan applicants are flawed and should not be used as comparison to where we are today and where we are heading. Please, be resourceful when researching statistics on today’s economy.

Andrew P. Soucy

Biddeford

 

From 1992 to February 2000, the U.S. economy grew at 3.8 percent per year. During this time this economy created 22.1 million jobs, 20.1 million jobs in the private sector averaging 225,000 new jobs each month.

Unemployment dropped from 7.5 percent in 1992 to 4 percent in June 2000, the lowest rate in 30 years. A record 898,000 new businesses opened their doors in 1998.

All this happened when corporate and individual tax rates were higher than they were after the 2003 Bush tax cuts.

In a recent column, “Stop squeezing small business with high taxes,” Ed Feulner, president of The Heritage Foundation, fears that a return to these tax rates would “put a punishing burden on the nation’s largest creators of new jobs.”

Recent history does not attest to the fact that the top two income tax rates of 35 percent and 39.6 percent severely inhibited the growth of small business and hampered job creation. The economy, small business and job creation did just fine when these rates were in place and the nation was recovering from the late ’80s recession.

We are at war in Afghanistan, nation-building in Iraq, and emerging from a deeper recession with unemployment at 9.6 percent, but the fact remains that tax policy has far less to do with the success of small businesses than access to credit, good management, a sound business plan and demand for the goods and services offered by the business.

A $250,000 minimum profit/income will be subject to the increase. A business owner earning this much would have to live on $160,000 per year compared to $167,500. Perhaps difficult for some, but hardly a burden that should trigger slash-and-burn decisions regarding the future success of the business.

Tom Foley

Cumberland

 

Why are people so eager to put Republicans back in charge?

If I remember correctly, in 2008 everyone thought we were heading towards another Great Depression. In September of that year, the man who will be speaker of the House if the Republicans take control, John Boehner, was near tears on the floor of the House begging his party to support a bailout.

That’s right: With a depression looming, even Republicans thought bailouts and spending were necessary. Speaking of the prospect of the bill not passing, Boehner said, “Think about the jobs that will be lost. If I didn’t think we were on the brink of an economic disaster, it would be the easiest thing in the world for me to say no to this But this Congress has to do its job.”

Now the tune has changed. A Great Depression is no longer looming; we are no longer on “the brink of disaster.” Republicans are back to saying “no” and “tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.” But why do the bailouts and stimulus not get some credit for avoiding catastrophe?

The way I look at it is this: We are on a plane called America. We were flying at 30,000 feet, but our Republican pilot of eight years put us into a nose dive. A few thousand feet from annihilation, we switched pilots.

Now the plane is flying level. Sure, we’re scraping the treetops and the engine is groaning, but we’re still in the air. And now we want to give the first pilot his job back?

Give me a break. The Democrats have earned another two years by turning an oncoming depression into something less devastating. We’re pulling up. Don’t put Republicans back in the pilot’s seat.

Brett Gabor

Portland