Wednesday, December 4, 2013
(Continued from page 1)
Gov. Paul LePage
U.S. policies value wealth over public service work
As a psychologist, I am sometimes confronted by people who don't want to grow up. Strangely enough, this phenomenon and what leads from it have a bearing on the current budget debate in Washington.
One of the appeals of childhood, of course, is the ability to rely on someone else to do the worrying, get out to work, pay the bills, provide all the goodies. And even though there's initial excitement at the independence of adulthood, soon the responsibilities that go along with it make themselves felt. It's sobering.
But as we live longer and if we adequately reflect, we come to realize how much we continue to depend on each other -- not as children do on adults, but as adults do on each other.
That's true at the personal level, where we can actually see it happening, as well as on the national level, which often seems so far away, so hard to grasp.
As a society we tend to measure success by our professional and economic accomplishments. It's good to be smart, resourceful, hardworking.
However, we soon come to realize that these identical qualities are rewarded very differently in different walks of life. Some activities lead to the amassing of great wealth. Others serve important needs for modest financial gain.
In recent decades, our national fiscal policies have tended to privilege the amassing of great wealth (through favorable tax treatment) over public service (as evidenced by social program budget cuts).
We can reverse that trend by allowing tax cuts to expire on the richest 2 percent of households -- those earning more than $250,000 a year -- and using the money to pay down debt and invest in our common good.
That would be the mature thing to do, so I'm sure Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins will support it.
Krauthammer encourages needless killing of innocent
I believe Charles Krauthammer has gone beyond the pale in his criticism of the Palestinians in Gaza ("Powerful allies help Hamas to keep trying to destroy Israel," Nov. 23).
Krauthammer states that Israel wanted nothing more than to live in peace with this independent Palestinian entity. "After all, the world has incessantly demanded that Israel give up land for peace," he writes.
Unfortunately, the outcome of such battles, instigated by the shelling of Israeli settlements, always ends up with a disproportionate number of Palestinian innocents paying the price in these conflicts.
One thing is clear: Israel is no David; nor is Hamas Goliath. The foolhardy shelling by the Hamas faction is no match for the military might of the Jewish state.
Krauthammer is certainly aware of this fact and should not encourage such massacres by the disinformation in his columns.