Readers Write: (Feb. 6): The ACA and jobs, addiction and responsibility, composting, caucuses

  • Updated: February 5, 2014 - 6:16 PM

If insurance means some can cut their hours, better for all of us.


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The impact on jobs is quickly misrepresented

I wonder if we have lost the ability to reason with numbers in this country. A report by the Congressional Budget Office about the Affordable Care Act claims (based on what — who knows?) that more than 2 million workers will go part-time because they don’t have to work full time to qualify for health care insurance. This is turned into headlines from a number of media outlets implying that more than 2 million jobs will be lost. Yet what the report suggests is that no jobs are lost, only that the workforce is shrunk by the full-time equivalent of 2.3 million workers.

In fact, any reasoning person would see that this will increase competition for good workers and put upward pressure on wages and benefits. It seems to be the equivalent of 2.3 million workers deciding they don’t need full-time employment. What a relief. They can be stay-at-home parents or otherwise contribute to society by means other than working full time at a low-wage job. Unemployment will drop (fewer workers), while wages will rise (more competition for good workers). This seems like very good news, yet it is being portrayed as a disaster. Are we all starting to think like Fox News? Now that’s a disaster.

ROBERT VEITCH, Minneapolis

• • •

After reading about the health care law’s impact on the workforce, I thought of the adage I learned in a one-room schoolhouse and Sunday school as an immigrant child 60 years ago: “Idleness leads to sinfulness.”



No choice in addiction? I’m not buying it

I must vehemently disagree with a Feb. 5 letter writer and his assertion of victimhood — that “there is no choice involved in addiction.” I’m sure there are exceptions, but the vast majority of addicts were not held down and forcibly administered the (usually illegal) substance they are addicted to. The road to addiction starts with poor choices.

I am raising four boys, and we are teaching them that there is exactly zero percent chance of their becoming enslaved to dangerous and addictive substances, regardless of any genetic predisposition, if they make the right choice each time such a substance is offered to them. There are a lot of excuses, and making the right choice is not an easy thing to do in our culture, with the pressures young people face, but it is possible. We do not need to be victims of circumstances. Our bodies belong to us, and we choose what to put in them.

The writer’s comparisons to wheelchair users and obesity are insulting and flawed. I won’t address the wheelchair comparison, but the main difference between obesity and addiction is that we are all required to eat to live, multiple times a day. No one is required to smoke, drink alcohol or take illegal drugs to live.

Many people have great achievements despite their addictions, and those achievements should be recognized. But to deny the role of choice and claim that addicts are helpless victims is to spread a vicious lie to our kids.



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