Citizen Editorials


One of the reasons I like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is its practice of giving ordinary citizens space on its editorial page. It allows voices to be heard in full that would otherwise be relegated to the truncations of the Letters box.Today’s AJC has two Citizen Editorials worth reading, one poignant and one rather angry.1. A bankruptcy of caring amid America’s riches

Ralph Parker, an operations manager at a financial services company, is wondering what happened to our compassion and generosity.

We dwell on the so-called moral issues to the point that we ignore the moral values taught by all religions and for which all people are accountable. The lack of acceptance of those who are different flies in the face of morality and pure decency.We condemn loving individuals who contribute to building families and society because they are gay. How does looking at the Ten Commandments or praying in school really help one become a better person?

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We destroyed the welfare system because a minority of recipients were abusing it, and we created a new monster, the perpetually underemployed, barely eking by.

Why should people not earn a living wage?

What is so wrong with slightly higher taxes for those who have resources, so as to provide a living wage, health insurance and retraining? Where has compassion gone?

Good questions, Ralph.

2. Seniors must pay plenty for free care

James Coomer, a professor of Political science at Norcross College, is about to retire. He just found out what Medicare is going to cost him on his fixed income thanks to the Republican distaste for “socialized medicine.” He adds up what this “free care” is going to cost him in payments before he even gets sick.

Therefore, upon retirement, when I am on a fixed income, I will be required to pay $262.72 per month for health care for myself. This is more than I ever paid during my working career to cover my entire family. This is not exactly what I expected from Medicare. I suspect it is not what most retirees expect. Is it any wonder that nearly 40 million Americans cannot afford even the basic health care options? Tax credits are useless to people who cannot seek medical attention because they cannot afford to pay up front.

A simple observation that seems to have escaped the Republicans who insisted on that provision. I’m sorry it took Mr Coomer’s own retirement to wake him up to what’s been happening to Medicare in the name of “fiscal responsibility” while he was busy elsewhere, but that’s a normal occurrence, isn’t it? We ignore the alligators as long as they’re in somebody else’s yard. Only when they wander into ours and snap at our legs does it dawn on us that we should have been paying more attention to what was going on with our neighbors.

Mr Parker is right–we should have noticed before. We should have cared. We should care now. Do we? Or are we going to continue the Republican presciption of “looking out for #1” and wind up like Mr Coomer, over a barrel because we couldn’t be bothered? It’s up to us, you know.

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