Letters to the Editor

Young people’s input needed on city’s future

As the debate over the proposed changes to 13th Street continues, young people should voice their opinions because this is a major change that will affect Columbus. It is no secret that Columbus has a problem with keeping and attracting young people. Atlanta has its hip Midtown with murals and cafes, Savannah has its revitalized downtown with restaurants and shops, so why not Columbus?

The proposed changes make Columbus a more hospitable and welcoming town. We are no longer the quiet town that once existed; Columbus is a city of 200,000 people and we are continuing to grow. Why should we stay stagnant as cities all around us flourish? Soon our town will outgrow Uptown and we must make the decision now, or will we allow ourselves to become fearful of the change that is, and will be, happening?

I understand that there are those who wish to keep Columbus the same, who use the argument of “traffic problems” as a guise for their fear of a changing Columbus, but changing 13th street will not drastically hinder the traffic as evidenced by the Department of Transportation review. However, what it will do is help facilitate the growth that our beautiful enclave on the Chattahoochee deserves and requires. A revitalized 13th Street is one of the many steps that Columbus must take in order to stay competitive and relevant in our ever-changing world. As a high school student and a born and raised native of this beautiful city, I call upon the city council to act not in the interest of fearful complacency, but rather in the interest of a better, brighter, Columbus, Georgia.

Patrick Chappel, Columbus

Jobs? Think again

An article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Factories Plan Upgrades After Tax Windfall" pretty much explains what is going to happen with all the jobs coming back to the U.S. — not.

Over the next five years the new tax code will allow companies to immediately deduct the entire cost of equipment purchases from their taxable income. Previously, companies generally were allowed to write off only a portion of the cost in a single year, using a bookkeeping method called depreciation.

The second paragraph gives away the true story: "The change is encouraging manufacturers to install robots and replace aging machinery sooner than planned." Robots, y'all.

It goes on: "Aluminum producer Novelis plans to build a highly automated plant in Kentucky that would employ 125 experienced process engineers and metallurgists."

The article notes that 45% of manufacturers said they added automation to increase productivity. About a third said it was to mitigate worker shortages and reduce labor costs.

The final paragraph tells the rest of the story: "Wages aren't keeping up with the upswing in production (how could it, when the production is accomplished with machinery, not human beings?) Even as U.S. unemployment lingers at a 17-year low, qualified workers for the remaining jobs will not increase employment overall."

One other paragraph caught my eye also: "Full expensing would reduce federal tax collections by $36.5 billion in 2019 according to estimates." It doesn't mention the other four years and how much will be lost to federal tax collections as well.

The truth of it all is the other money, which may come back to the U.S. under the new tax law, will go to paying down debt and paying dividends to investors as it did in the first "forgiveness" episode, years ago.

Michael Wade, Ellerslie

Spiritual void

We live in a time of unprecedented darkness and evil. Good and evil have been inverted with the "imprimatur of law." Contemporary progressive liberal secularism has become a coercive force according to which state power is now an instrument of "imposing and enforcing" its ideological dictum.

Quelling the hyperpartisanship that is destroying our democracy is the only way to rebuild our domestic tranquility. As noted by Levitsky and Ziblatt in "How Democracies Die," "it is poisonous in a Democracy to treat rivals as treasonous, subversive or otherwise beyond the pale."

Anger, hate, vitriol and indifference have become a way of life and have forged the weapons of progressive culture warriors. Pen, paper and social media are being used to proselytize narratives that turn neighbor against neighbor — truth is no longer absolute but relative; trust and good have become forgotten terminology.

As citizens we have the responsibility to remember and encode in our DNA that neither partisan politics or ideology are synonymous with truth, nor must we accept the portrayed narrative of "political illusion" — the idea that our problems domestic and international are primarily political ones with only political solutions. We must not forget transcendent truth. To quote Pope Saint John Paul II: "If one does not acknowledge transcendent truth, then the forces of power take over, and each person tends to make full use of the means at his disposal in order to improve his own interest or his own opinion with no regard for the rights of others."

Love of God and neighbor is the only solution to domestic and international peace.

Joseph Liss, Columbus