The nation's economic flow
Regarding "At all cost" and "Joining the 1 percent" (Your Views, June 19): These two letters illustrate that the general public doesn't have a real handle on how the economy works. They both center on spending tax money on more public employees, which is no solution for economic woes.
Imagine the economy is a conveyor belt and the money on it moves along toward productivity, building and creating things people will want to buy or make use of, as well as jobs. As it moves along, every dollar spent in the public sector has to be plucked from that conveyor belt, thereby reducing money in the private sector for business expansion and creation, jobs and personal spending. Any government spending is still economic activity diverted from the economic flow of the nation.
Don't get me wrong; we need teachers, firemen and police, (and a few bureaucrats). Therefore, there must be taxes. But we also need to know the correct levels for the public sector to properly serve taxpayers who are responsible for the money on that conveyor belt, what government should do versus what it actually does, and proper oversight to determine if we're getting what we pay for. What we especially don't need is a strong union presence in the public sector, which becomes a large voting bloc able to sway elections to union benefactor politicians.
America's 'staying hand'
Regarding "The Constitution's father knows best" (Views, June 17): Larry Sabato made several suggestions for changes to our Constitution. Among these is the creation of a "more representative" Senate. Sabato suggests a "fairer" system based, in part, on state population. I would like to point out that his suggestions would undo a pretty good system.
When our Constitution was written Congress was designed to give appropriate representation based on population in the House of Representatives. The House was intended to be closer to the people and more reflective of the "political mood," with the entire body coming up for election every two years. The 435 representatives are divided among the states based on population and can change every 10 years when the census is done.
The Senate, however, was deliberately designed to protect the interests of less populous states from being overrun by more populous states. The Senate is intended as the "staying hand," with terms of six years. Each state has two senators, thus providing fair representation to all of the states.
The Electoral College, based on each state's total representation in Congress, could hardly be improved upon as a device for protecting the interests of citizens in less populous states.
Remember, there is no worse tyrant than a majority.
Joseph M. Joeb
Retrofitting golf carts
Regarding "Golf cart safety questioned" (Metro, June 19): Seat belts would turn golf carts into death traps unless those seat belts were accompanied by roll bars and race helmets, since they'd hold passengers in place while the cart rolled. Nobody's neck can take more than 1,000 pounds while squashed between the ground and all those heavy automotive batteries under the seat and bodywork. In most instances, being thrown clear of the cart would prevent fatal or paralyzing injuries.
Many carts are topless; they don't even have those flimsy fiberglass roofs that keep direct sunlight and rain off one's head. But what good are roll bars when one is not on pavement? Golf courses and people's yards (where golf carts are usually found) can be muddy places where roll bars would just get stuck deep in the ground, defeating their purpose and making rescuers' attempts more difficult to turn the cart upright and save the victim.
Litigious people will predictably make efforts to mandate seat belts, perhaps even helmets and roll cages, on golf carts and ATVs, which could lead to the banning of such vehicles on the grounds of nanny state public safety. Since so many boaters drown each year, why isn't anyone demanding seat belts in fishing boats? (Boats never turn upside down in the water, do they?)
Anyone who would seriously ask such a question probably cannot be helped. The same is true for belted passengers in golf carts. One gets decapitated or paralyzed only once. Golf carts are not toys. People who do stupid or dangerous things while operating them can frustrate even the best efforts of geniuses to keep them safe from injury.