Stephen Mittons’ well-reasoned warnings about moneyed right-wing attempts to quash unions rang true. (“Union busters . . . ,” Opinion page, 17 Jan.)
But it omitted mentioning a potentially worse follow-on consequence if indeed the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court reverses 40 years of labor law in the pending Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case, which could nullify quasi-dues payments by nonmembers of unions, weakening unions to point of irrelevance in protecting worker interests.
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Over the years, Congress has let big corporations dodge taxes by enabling them or allowing them to set up, on paper only, corporate headquarters overseas. Reportedly, such ruses have let them escape paying some 40 percent of the U.S. tax burden, forcing ordinary middle-class wage earners to pay them instead to keep the country running — even though wage-earner pay has long stalled or fallen.
As economists like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich have warned, such influences are shrinking and sapping the middle class, which is the beating heart of our economy, and increasingly pushes our democracy toward becoming a virtual oligarchy, if carried to its logical extreme.
The fate of all workers is tied to the vitality of unions, whether or not they are dues-paying members. As Mittons has warned, all of us may be on the verge of learning that the hard way, because we all have a stake in worker well-being, unionized or not.
Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park
Misunderstanding on citizenship
Linda Chavez (Jan. 15) is usually spot on in her commentaries, but her latest one promotes a common misunderstanding of a very important political question: citizenship.
She seems to agree with the statement and to believe that “the 14th Amendment clearly states that people born on U.S. soil are citizens.”
The fact is that this has never been true without qualification. American Indians didn’t become citizens with the 14th Amendment. That took an act of Congress in 1924. Children born to foreign workers in our country like diplomats don’t receive citizenship, as well as children who are born to people vacationing in our country. Why would anybody think that a child born to somebody in our country illegally would automatically become citizens?
Larry Craig, Wilmette
Pay up for mismanagement
Any expenses accruing to any government entities in Will County such as Joliet, Shorewood and Will County itself for flood mitigation should be paid for by the government entities up stream such as DuPage County, Naperville, Lisle, Wheaton and Cook County for mismanagement of the storm waters, inappropriate building and zoning regulations such as altering flood plains building in inappropriate locations and not retaining storm water for an appropriate time.
Thomas Cechner, Lockport
Undeserved No. 1 ranking
Our group of nine buddies gets together a couple times a year. One of the times we go to a big high school basketball game. Then we hit a bar for pizza and beer afterward. This year we planned on going to see No. 1 vs. No. 3.
Parents just had to get involved, and the game was canceled.
Since the game was canceled, we ended up meeting at one of the guys houses on Saturday night to watch the NFL playoff game. Only eight could make it, one of the guys had a basketball game to ref.
One of our guys, John, attended Morgan Park, so of course we had to give him a hard time about our basketball plans getting canceled. Last year, John wanted our group to watch Morgan Park. The group voted and John lost, we went to watch Hillcrest. Two of the guys grew up in Country Club Hills.
We feel the gym was not the reason the parents wanted to skip the game. The parents were worried about losing the No. 1 ranking and the publicity. It’s hard to believe the parents wanted $30 million to go to a new gym, instead of where it did go to, new heating and cooling, windows, roofing, science lab, computer lab and more.
If the parents really did do it because they preferred a new gym with the money, then, that is really sad. Put $30 million toward a bigger gym for the basketball players instead of items that help the whole school population. It’s sad, but some parents do think that way.
Our Hillcrest alumni said. “If the parents really do want to make a stand for the future basketball players, have their children skip the rest of the season, skip the city championship, ship the state playoffs. That would make big news.”
Our Oak Lawn alumni said, “Why would they do that, they already got their way, they got out of the game against powerhouse Simeon, which helped them keep their No. 1 ranking.“ We all nodded our heads in agreement.
John who went to Morgan Park did mention that their gym is small. He said it was never a big deal to move to a different site when a huge crowd was expected. John agreed with the rest of us that the parents were worried about losing their No. 1 ranking and all the publicity that goes with it.
It’s funny how things change. All nine of us were plan on going to watch and cheer on Morgan Park against Simeon. We agreed we will never schedule another Morgan Park game for our group to go see. We hope Morgan Park drops a few games and loses their No. 1 ranking and all the publicity that goes with it. They do not deserve the No. 1 ranking. They are not No. 1 in any of our eyes.
I can’t wait until these players get to college and their parents are not happy with the coaching, playing time, uniforms colors, sneaker brand, offense scheme or something else. I would think the parents will take the same stand they took at Morgan Park, their child will not play.
Dave Karate, Hometown, and eight South Side Buddies
Postponement was wrong
I cannot believe that CPS is allowing the postponement of this game. If the game was scheduled at another building, both teams should have to had abide by that and played the game. I think that if the Mustang parents chose to boycott the game, then Simeon then should have been awarded victory due to forfeiture and any further games they chose to punish their kids athletic futures by boycotting.
Joe Benedict, Glendale Heights
It seems the GOP candidates all have a very short-term memory of what actually occurred under the Republican administrations and clearly ignore the progress that has been made in the last seven years.
Barbara and Paul Marion, Palos Hills