Some would label it crass hypocrisy, but while Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin are berating Senator Barack Obama over his alleged "socialist, spread-the-wealth" policies, Alaskans eagerly anticipate their annual welfare check from the state government.
This year, every Alaskan citizen receives a government check in the amount of $3,269, which amounts to a citizenship reward of $22,883 for Governor Palin's seven-member family. The government, quite literally, pays people to live in Alaska.
On the national front, for the past eight years, we've rapidly been redistributing wealth from the middle class to the affluent, so that the top 1 percent of our population now controls a higher percentage of wealth than they did in the fateful year of 1929. Median incomes continue to drop, while the wealthy grow obscenely rich with no apparent regard for those whose ever-more-productive labor feathers their beds.
Obama believes this "Robin Hood in reverse" situation is neither sustainable nor beneficial for the vast majority of Americans. McCain advocates expanding and sustaining President Bush's failed economic policies.
Obama's policies are designed to correct a dangerous and growing economic imbalance, but he'd never dream of filling America's cup with Alaska's socialist broth.
Barack Obama's economic platform is eerily similar to positions his father promoted in the 1960s. Obama's father was a Harvard-educated government economist in Kenya. He literally worked to redistribute the wealth in Kenya from the wealthy to the poor through government taxes and socialism.
Though Obama's father had insignificant one-on-one personal influence on his son, he evidently has influenced him through his writings and ideals. Careful study of his son's phraseology hints how much the younger Obama has been influenced by his father's socialism.
Daniel L. Gardner
The Flyer is a liberal newspaper (Letters, October 23nd issue)? Yep, nothing wrong with that. It's a breath of fresh air in between all the ultraconservative talk shows and Republican newspapers. It seems only fair.
Besides, The Commercial Appeal seems to be shutting down. They have stopped all service to Tupelo, Mississippi. I lived, worked, taught, and was educated in Memphis for 35 years. I like to keep up with what's going on in the city, but no more, I guess.
Now, as to all the socialism talk — about the rich having to share their wealth with the poor. Shameless! Uh, wait a minute: That $700 billion bailout? Wasn't that the tax-paying poor and middle-class sharing their hard-earned money with the corrupt and crooked fat cats who butchered our whole economic system? I thought turnabout was fair play?
Terry Blair Carr
I have three suggestions that might help our country's over-the-limit budget.
1) Get out of Iraq tomorrow. Our contract runs out at the end of December anyway. How much money per second does that save us? I've lost track.
2) Stop the "War on Drugs." How much money do we waste on that program? Again, I've lost track. Did we not learn anything from Prohibition? The drug dealers are the ones who want drugs to be illegal.
3) Make churches pay taxes. They are businesses, and they make money. The preachers could then preach anything they want from the pulpit, and they could deduct their community programs from their taxes.
This morning, while sweeping my kitchen floor, I looked for the dustpan and couldn't find it. I said, "I know — I'll use the Memphis Flyer, specifically the Rant, by Tim Sampson, instead."
Cory Booker/Barack Obama
I couldn't help but be struck by the contrast between the bright, young, black leadership represented by Newark mayor Cory Booker (In the Bluff, City Beat, October 23rd issue) and Barack Obama, and the old, tired, corrupt black leadership represented by Mayor Willie Herenton. Can we work a trade?