Does our governor believe his job is to work for only some of Maine’s citizens?

A pair of recent Press Herald articles (“LePage excludes nonprofit group from forums” and “State workers union expresses concern over plans to outsource projects,” Oct. 18) reflect his belief that nonprofit and union jobs don’t matter.

In 2008, the nonprofit group that the governor chooses to exclude from his job creation workshops contributed $8.2 billion to the state’s economy and employed one in seven of Maine’s workers – making it the second largest employer in the state behind the retail industry!

Further indication of the governor’s myopia is his plan to outsource state projects and services, thereby directly taking jobs away from union members who live and work in Maine.

Perhaps the governor thinks that nonprofit and union workers are second-class citizens whose jobs and contributions to Maine’s economy don’t matter, or at least not to him.

These actions serve to alienate rather than unite the citizens of Maine, not at all what we expect from the state’s chief executive.

Michael Herz

Damariscotta

I recently had a conversation with a client who runs a nonprofit organization. He is contemplating turning it into a for-profit business and creating a foundation to help make its programs affordable to a wider audience.

Imagine a company like Whole Foods establishing a foundation to help a wider audience shop for healthier local products. The state of our economy needs innovation, increasing tax revenue to balance the budget and greater resources aimed at wellness with a goal of reducing health and welfare costs.

The solutions are evolutionary, not revolutionary. They can be implemented by business instead of mandated by government. But government created two vehicles to help make these trends possible. The business development corporation and the L3C business structure need to become a bigger part of Maine capital structure. There are holes and we need to fill them.

Over the last 40 years, we have created a capital system that is very efficient at moving money around. But interest rate declines have moved money from the local bank to international money market funds.

Capital that could stay in Maine to grow our economy is shipped out of state or overseas in search of a better return. This imports volatility and risk, disconnects the investing public from the value of its money, introduces stress and robs us of energy and resources to take care of our own.

If you are a business or nonprofit, think about your mission and consider the L3C model. If you’re a bank, figure out how to give people options for their 401(k) that keep the money here in Maine. Let’s learn from the past (a la Henry Ford) and evolve new ways of doing business that are productive for us – not just efficient for them.

Thomas Shepard

Cumberland

The alarming debt issue sparsely talked about is college debt.

The national student loan debt is overtaking the national credit card debt. A CNBC.com article on Wednesday, Oct. 12, highlighted this societal disaster.

The national student loan debt will top $1 trillion by year-end. Let’s think about this statement for a second. $1 trillion of debt burden is squarely placed on a demographic that spans 17 years, one generation!

The bulk of this debt is held by people between the ages of 18 and 35. Many of these collegiate attendees and graduates are unemployed, or working jobs below a pay rate that will allow them to pay their monthly loan amount, and sustain their own residence.

This is an economic calamity because the problem will magnify the housing bust, and prolongs the economic recession, as any wages they are able to secure will be all sucked up by rent, food and high student loan payments, leaving close to zero dollars of spendable income that need to be used to support local businesses.

Look no further than the blatant enslavement by the liberal Democrats who control the public school systems across the country.

From the high schools failing to adequately prepare the students to be proficient in the core subjects like reading, math and the sciences, to the collegiate admissions office and the student loan managers handing out $30,000 (per year) of debt like candy.

While the academy pushes subpar students into the college debt cycle, they (purposely, in my opinion) refuse to inform the general studies majors that the reality is the entry level jobs for nonskilled degrees is $24,000 or less.

The public has been duped into this mentality as being acceptable. Now people protest Wall Street? No. You’ve got the wrong villain! Wake up – it’s the academy!

Patrick Scully

Alfred

LePage has not earned respect from the public

In a recent Another View column authored by Barbara T. Ladner of Wayne, she scolds Bill Nemitz for not showing more respect for our governor.

I would ask Ms. Ladner where was Gov. LePage’s respect for the NAACP when he told that organization of Maine citizens to “kiss my butt”?

When the governor removed the murals from the walls of the Department of Labor, he disparaged objectors as “idiots.” He was being not only disrespectful, but blatantly insulting toward his own constituents.

Where was his respect for the president of the United States when the governor vowed to make headlines that read “Gov. LePage tells Obama to go to hell”?

Ladner calls Bill Nemitz “insulting, condescending and downright rude.” I would apply the same description to the governor whom she is so ardently defending.

It is impossible to show any respect for Gov. LePage when he does not extend the same courtesy to a majority of citizens of the state he was elected to govern.

To deserve respect you must first earn it.

Phyllis Kamin

Cumberland 

U.S. money spent on wars would be better used here 

All the politicians from the president on down talk about cutting spending, and yet we keep our troops in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan and are spending billions in taxpayers’ money to build new roads, bridges and highways there when our own are falling apart.

We are not welcome in these countries, so bring our troops home and spend those billions here in this country and save the lives of hundreds of our young people.

Donald Googins

Scarborough