Letters to the Editor for May 5

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Letters to the Editors

 

Inflation is our biggest headache 

We know the Republican Party was established in 1854 specifically to fight slavery and the Democrats fought to retain slavery and segregation. But now Democrats are accusing the Republicans of racism. Ain’t that cute?

Right now, Republicans in North Carolina are fighting to maintain women’s hard won right to clean sanitary restrooms but Democrats are calling them bigots and racists.  Quite a twist.

It’s fascinating to listen to Democrats rail against the very party that fought against slavery and segregation.

I suspect that underneath all the Democrat’s palaver about human rights and protecting minorities, we are really looking at a form of racism and some discrimination in that they look down on working Americans from their lofty perches.  The coffee house intellectuals.

Frankly, if I were a black American or any other minority I would be concerned about falling into a dependency trap set by the Democrats to keep them under control.

On another subject I got to thinking about Hillary’s pledge to increase the minimum wage to $15 and wondered just who that would affect? Well, where do I begin?

Those on Disability Income would be hurt badly, so would those living on Social Security and we must include those who retired on monthly pensions. Those with limited savings at retirement would also be hurt badly, some wiped out.

Even those on food stamps would be hurt as well because food stamps will buy less food.

All told, perhaps some 50 to 60 million would suffer.  But what the heck, it’s only a bunch of old folks and invalids, so who cares because they can simply quit eating so much.  No more dining out at McDonald’s on Friday nights.

Effectively, Hillary would sell out one group to capture the vote of another group but eventually, inflation would take money out of everyone’s pocket.

In the ideal free economy, wages are set according to the value of the worker and workers are free to seek higher paying jobs if they wish.  Experienced, knowledgeable workers will always demand higher wages and they can get them. Someone with a degree in engineering will always make more than someone with just a high school diploma.  Even then, if that high school graduate has talent and the necessary drive, he/she too can earn big money.

As someone old enough to remember when we could buy a brand new loaded Ford Galaxy for $3,500 that now costs around $35,000, inflation is our biggest headache and Hillary seems to be on the way to giving us a real headache.  And yes, I still remember McDonald’s burger, fries and a drink for less than $1.00.

Inflation is like a plague and can wipe out entire economies so we have to be careful about politicians who are wealthy enough to afford Prime Rib every night but could care less about inflation.

Let’s give some thought to those who can’t afford that Prime Rib and how Hillary’s promises will damage their lives.

Bob Wilson — Franklin, N.C.

Taste of Scotland needs sponsors 

Father’s Day weekend, June 17-19, is very special in our small town of Franklin.  Scots and friends from near and far gather to celebrate the Taste of Scotland festival.  The Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum took over the Taste of Scotland to bring new life into the event, spotlight Franklin, and more business for the merchants.

Each year the committee members strive to have a higher quality of craft vendors and entertainment.  Suggestions from tourist and community have been helpful. One of them was to have more activities on Friday instead of just the Ceilidh. We have kept old favorites and added more choices on both Friday and Saturday.

Every year the cost of the festival rises.  Our local funding has diminished.  We raise the funds for our festival through vendor fees and local sponsors, merchants and individuals. Local businesses are crucial to our success.  In 2014, 50 merchants participated as sponsors.  In 2015, only 15 businesses were sponsors. Our festival brings attention to Franklin and customers for shops, restaurants, and motels/hotels. To make the Taste of Scotland successful, we need merchants, not just downtown, to participate. Any business is welcome to participate as a sponsor. We hope many businesses will enter into a friendly Scottish window competition.

A sponsor form is available on our website: tasteofscotlandfestival.org or call Doug Morton, festival chairman, at (727)424-8901.  Sponsorships can also be mailed to Friends of the Scottish Tartans Museum, P.O. Box 2216, Franklin, NC 28744

Taste of Scotland Committee

Common sense should have put brewery elsewhere 

Well, it looks like Franklin has one more brewery in town.

Look, I like beer and having another one will give people a place to go but where it’s going is wrong. To allow it to be across from a school isn’t right. I know it’s not directly across the street from the school but when school lets out, many, many cars pull out across from it. Now about the buses that come out in front of it and don’t forget the kids walking home.

I am sure the property is zoned for business but come on, to me our local leaders could have used some common sense; it doesn’t belong there. You will have a bar there also and again I visit a few bars in my 85-plus years but somebody in power in Franklin could in my mind have stood up and worried a little more about our young children in Franklin instead of the good old dollar. Well business as always in our town.

William Trapani — Franklin, N.C.

So-called ‘tax cuts’ felt in the wallet 

They’re Baaaaaaaaack.  Yes, your N.C. Legislature is back in session and talking tax cuts.  Hold on to your wallets. These are the people who have systematically increased your taxes since 2010.   While your paycheck may look a bit better since then, your wallet and bank account have taken some serious hits.

Beginning in 2010, Senator Davis and his colleagues began eliminating many tax deductions that many of you depend upon. Things like child-care expenses, your educational expenses, the deduction for your college savings plan and a host of other items are no longer deductible when you file your taxes every year.  In 2012, they eliminated a major deduction for small businesses.  Your income tax bill may actually have gone up after losing all of these deductions gone.

Then, in 2014, they went directly into your wallet.  Sales taxes were imposed on things that you do and use routinely. While I don’t go to a lot of movies and concerts, those of you who do now pay sales tax on that entertainment.  Service contracts on appliances are taxed, as are the electricity and gas that you use to run them.  On the education side, meal plans at your college or university are taxed and the sales tax holiday used to purchase supplies for the new school year is gone.  There’s more, and it’s a long list.

Hopefully, you did not buy, or plan to buy a mobile home.  The tax on those is now the standard sales tax of 4.75% (up from 2%) and the $300 maximum on tax is now gone. The same thing happened with the increasingly popular modular homes.

Since April 1 of this year, you now pay sales tax on the labor for repairs to your car – or anything else you need to have repaired or serviced.

There were, in fact, income tax cuts, but the benefits were not shared universally.  Early analyses of this strategy indicated that with the income tax cuts, the loss of deductions and increases in sales taxes, the break-even point was above $70,000.  If you made more, you won. If you made less, you lost.  Keep in mind that only half of the households in Macon County make more than about  $37,000.  You probably lost.

Call Senator Davis, tell him to just raise teacher pay.  Then he should come home before he does any more damage to your wallet.

John Gladden — Franklin, N.C.

A good lesson in being flexible 

Last week my 11-year-old son brought to my attention that the cafeteria seating arrangements had been changed, at his school. Basically, the kids were divided up and sitting across from children in another grade and were not allowed to sit next to their friends anymore.  His understanding was that the cafeteria was too loud and the faculty had imposed this new seating to quiet things down. He saw it as a punishment, not being able to sit near or next to any of his friends. At first, I was going to dismiss it as most busy parents would do. Thinking that the faculty must have their reasons and that sometimes life gives us lemons even when we don’t want them. However, the next day, I could see the disappointment all over his face and it got me thinking.

I started thinking about all of the years while I was in school, lunch was really one of the highlights of my day. You could sit and freely talk to your friends about all of the things that seemed important that day or week. It could be a class, a teacher, boys, homework, parents or just about anything. It always seemed like life’s issues found a way to the lunch table. Wow, I thought, it was a long time ago, but it all came back how important this part of the school day really is, when you are a student. So, that night, I wrote a short note to his teacher. She responded quickly and assured me that is wasn’t a punishment, but an administration decision. She also said she would pass on my concerns. I appreciated her response, but I still was not quite sure why this new rule was initiated and why at the end of the school year.

I have thought long and hard about this issue, over the last week and here are the conclusions that I have come to and have shared with my son. Sometimes life doesn’t seem fair but we have to learn how to adjust, there is a good lesson there in being flexible. This lesson may be a hard one to get, but we all need to learn patience in times of adversity and flexibility to accept certain things that we can not change. Another conclusion is that sometimes people find a need to change things that are not broken, instead of addressing the actual problem. Sitting next to virtual strangers will only solve the noise problem temporarily because eventually they will get to know each other and start talking to each other. Then the noise level will be right back to where it was, before the change. The last big conclusion that I arrived at was this, there will always be someone in authority that makes decisions that you do not like. It is important to find your voice and respectfully express your concerns and if you are unable to express them yourself find someone who can express them for you. While doing this remember to do it with respect and kindness.  Anger has no place in making positive changes.

So, for now my son still has the lunch room blues. As for me, I am thankful for walking back down memory lane remembering all of the good times I myself had in the school cafeteria throughout my school years. I am thankful, for all of the friends I had along the way, all of the laughs, giggles, advice and conversations that I was privileged to be a part of. The very best memories that I have from my life were made around a table with food, friends, family and conversation. Those memories are priceless and it is my hope that my son will feel as blessed with his own memories and good times around the lunch table or any table for that matter.

Loralie Hurt  — Franklin, N.C.

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