BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT
Who really works on behalf of the people?
Jay Ambrose ("Corporations are people? Yes, count the ways," Aug. 31) asks us to look kindly on corporations. I did at one time.
Now I respect few and am very watchful of most. It started well before the idiots out east declared them to be people, and that abomination has only made it worse. Corporations are not people -- people have consciences; corporations do not!
They do the crime, pay the fine, admit no guilt.
GENE LE VITRE, MINNEAPOLIS
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Ambrose states that governments deliver much pain to corporations, thus justifying why corporations need to influence governments. Well, by the same reasoning Ambrose uses, governments are people, too.
The main difference is that the sole goal of corporations is to accumulate money. Any benefit to consumers, workers and other people are only spinoffs, and even benefits to shareholders come only after the corporate elites have siphoned off most of the profits.
Furthermore, many if not most corporations make their money by deceptive advertising, deceptive packaging, minimum wages and any other method they can get away with.
The goal of governments, on the other hand, is to facilitate the good of all the citizens. Governments are really us, all of us. Only a privileged portion of citizens are part of corporations.
Thus part of government's role is to rein in the excesses that corporations would visit on all the rest of us if it were not for government rules, laws, and regulations.
As in any large organization, certainly there is waste in government, but this is also matched by the well- known excesses of corporate elites, with their jets, yachts, parties, etc., most of which are tax deductible.
Societies have thrived for centuries without corporations, but not without some form of government.
LUCYAN MECH, ST. PAUL
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People are all aflame against institutions in our lives now: On the left, it is the corporation, on the right, it is government that people focus their anger toward.
Both are said to have too much power and control in our lives. Maybe that's true. Maybe it's because one set of institutions, corporations, with the help of the Supreme Court, has become the dominant influencer on the other institution, government.
Remove corporations from government influence, and we'll all get our country back!
PAUL ROZYCKI, MINNEAPOLIS
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I have yet to meet anyone who believes the government -- any level of government, from school districts up to and including the feds -- spends our money effectively, wisely and efficiently.
Yet, almost daily, I read letters to the editor from people who want to give the government more. This absolutely astonishes me. What are they thinking?
On Monday, a letter writer actually made the claim that it is somehow "logical" to do this. Logical?
I realize that this person, like all advocates of higher taxes, is really only advocating raising taxes on someone other than himself and that in his world this is "logical," but maybe it's time we started asking government to do a better job with what it has.
Isn't it about time for some of that logic to seep into the discussion?
DENNIS CARSTENS, EAGAN
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The good and bad of hearing God's voice
On Wednesday, both the editorial and an article on the Opinion website touted education as a way to curb youth violence. Education is always good. But I'd be far more confident in a positive outcome if we were to bring God back into the picture.
JERRY KASSANCHUK, GOLDEN VALLEY
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I have noticed that God has spoken directly to presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, telling them that he wants them to lead our nation.
God also spoke directly to: Jim Jones (Peoples Temple), Charles Manson, Mark David Chapman, Marshall Applewhite (Heaven's Gate), and countless other people.
People such as these with voices in their heads need very close scrutiny.
JOHN AND SANDRA KANE, OAK GROVE
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BIKES VS. FIREFIGHTERS
Response times are the numbers that count
I would like to respond to a letter on Wednesday regarding the number of deaths resulting from bike accidents compared with the number caused by fires.
The letter writer was correct -- fire deaths are lower, as are fires in general because of increased awareness, sprinkler systems and detection equipment provided by and advocated for by the fire service.
But that is a small part of the job. Medical emergencies make up about 80 percent of the calls. I would want someone there in three to four minutes, not 10, if a loved ones' heart or mine has stopped or if my child is choking.
Those minutes waiting will almost certainly result in an unfavorable outcome, and in most cases, death. So it's fine if you think you need a bicycle coordinator in your city, but I will take a firefighter!
RICH CISNEROS, MINNEAPOLIS