Living wage not a government 'raise'

June 2, 2007 

A letter writer, in referring disdainfully to the "raise" provided by the government, would do well to think realistically about people "taking responsibility for where they are."

There are many who, after taking that responsibility and increasing their skills, have seen their jobs go overseas. If every American were to become educated, proficient, skilled and ambitious, there would still be a "minimum" wage and there would still be individuals blaming high prices on the increase in that wage.

High prices are caused by the desire to make more and more money (greed?). It is no longer supply and demand.

If earnings kept pace with the artificial cost of living, things would be much better. Record profits are everywhere, but we begrudge $2.10 over a couple of years! Capitalism has taken a wrong turn somewhere.

Perhaps we all should go back and read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand to gain a better understanding of capitalism. Remember, if the current trend continues, we all will be looking for scapegoats to blame for high prices.

One other thing: Minimum wage earners have to pay the same inflated prices for goods and services as Bill Gates.

NATHANIEL HARRIS, Columbus

More than image

A recent writer makes an excellent point in his letter (“Image problem,” 5/27/07), namely, that homosexuals in the U.S. would better serve their cause by reminding everyone of their notable contributions, rather than “taking pride in” and displaying themselves in “leather and drag.”

But it should also be remembered that homosexuals experienced prejudice and discrimination for decades, resulting in what sociologists call a "spoiled identity." They not infrequently suffered violence from both the general population and law enforcement.

It was the “worst elements” among the gays (whom the writer criticizes) who finally said "enough!" In 1969, for one of the first times in American history, they actively resisted a raid on a gay bar, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in New York. The "Stonewall riots" spurred a gay liberation movement and is one of the milestones on the road to all that has been achieved in civil rights for gay people since then.

Furthermore, although there is a body of research that shows that people become more accepting of homosexuals when they know that a co-worker, friend, sibling, or other "real person" is gay, it is unfortunately, however, still the case (to further support the writer's position) that a photo of a lesbian or gay man who does not fit the stereotype of the minority who are actually flamboyant doesn't seem to sell newspapers or hold television viewers' attention. JOEL HOROWITZ, Columbus

Another CSU coup

A reader recently praised Sergei Schwartz, the new CSU violin professor. Largely unnoticed has been the CSU hire this past year of violinist Craig Resta, director of the newly created Orchestra Education Department. While Schwartz’s studio has the important mission of training virtuoso violinists, the hire of Resta may have a larger impact for the cause of orchestra education in Georgia.

Resta is charged with training orchestra teachers, many of whom will dedicate their careers to our young people. Also, Resta will be an important advocate and resource for current orchestra teachers. In addition, Professor Resta’s proposed community outreach activities, such as mock auditions for rising seniors, summer camps, honor orchestra weekend and an orchestra string project, will significantly impact the musical education of many middle and high school students.

CSU should be commended for the hiring of two, not one, important orchestra department musicians. WILLIAM E. FRY, Columbus

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