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Monday Letters: Noise, noise, noise goes the trolley

Noisy, intrusive party trolleys carrying many over-served revelers on the North Side and Gold Coast have become an important subject of discussion for many of the neighborhoods’ leaders and citizens. How best to handle them and the nuisance they are to many is receiving long-overdue attention. Their frantic screaming noises interrupt many otherwise peaceful, even elegant areas.

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What “freedoms” are being protected by permitting, even encouraging, such boorish, selfish, frenetic displays? Do you suppose that they have any idea how they are experienced by others? Who is benefiting from such regressive functioning? Furthermore, many of those partiers are one day likely to be someone’s grandparents. What a thought! Where do civility, empathy, and observation of boundaries come in?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is that these trolleys are often used for what some people still refer to as “bachelorette” parties. In this day and age myriad people talk about and fight for equality of men and women. Aren’t we overdue for a new word that doesn’t make women diminutive and simply an “-ette” of men? Perhaps we should have a contest to create such a new and more appropriate word.

Leon J. Hoffman, Lake View

No equal time

Why does the media NOT give equal time to the “other” candidates for president? So many Americans are really not very happy with either the Democratic nor Republican candidate yet media doesn’t give equal time/press to the other candidates. Understandably they cannot afford to buy air time since they do not get the backing from wealthy contributors and, therefore, most people are not even aware of the others who will be on the ballot until they actually go to vote. Is this really the American way? Does the media condone this? It would certainly seem so since there is never any mention of the others who are running yet cannot afford to make the public aware of their agendas. It certainly seems American elections are bought and not necessarily earned.

Janet Lumm, Schaumburg

Think logically

Even Leon Panetta gets it wrong as did Lynn Sweet and Mark Brown although at least the latter two are obviously partisan. Does anyone think logically anymore? How could Trump be encouraging Vlad the Destroyer to hack into Hillary’s 33,000 deleted e-mails? Trump wasn’t encouraging new hacking, as if the Russians needed to be encouraged. Remember, she wiped her server with that little cloth so thoroughly that Jim Comey’s army of geeks could only recover a few from their recipients-not from Hillary’s trashed server. Comey said its likely Vlad already has them or he’ll have to get them from the Chinese, some 17-year-old genius in Romania or whoever else already has them. All Trump was saying is that he’d love to see them. Wouldn’t you?

The national security secrets aren’t secret anyway if Vlad or the Chinese already have them and exposing removes the blackmail threat explicit or implied in Assange’s warning that there’s more to come.

Ernest Palmer III, Northfield

Minimum wage and inflation

While addressing the media in White House, President Barack Obama stated, “Now, it was one year ago today — that I first asked Congress to raise the federal minimum wage — a federal minimum wage that in real terms is worth about 20 percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan took office.” Obama further iterated, “when Congress refuses to raise it, it loses value — because there’s a little bit inflation, everything else starts costing a little bit more.”

I wish I could challenge Obama on what entity is responsible for creating the inflation which has reduced the purchasing power of Americans. In the documentary, “Free To Choose,” Milton Friedman expounded, “The truth is inflation is made in one place and one place only — here in Washington. This is the only place where there are presses like this that turn out these pieces of paper called money. This is the place where the power resides to determine how rapidly the amount of money shall increase.” On the Federal Reserve website it states that the Federal Open Market Committee has a 2 percent inflation objective, in part, to promote maximum employment. The Fed is able to achieve this objective by effectively lowering the cost of labor through inflation. As Financial Broker, Peter Schiff explained in a column, “Put simply: because inflation reduces wages in real terms, employers can afford to hire more people.” So I find it quite hypocritical to see President Obama supporting a raise in the minimum wage, while at the same time, supporting the Fed’s inflationary policies, which drive up prices in the economy, resulting in the reduction of purchasing power for the wage earner.

In, Choice, Economist Robert Murphy, who holds his Ph.D. from New York University, wrote, “ … if other interventions have artificially raised wage rates, and the other implicit costs of employment, institutional employment results. Rather than admitting the folly of these original interventions, another possible remedy is to inflate the currency, thereby raising prices in general and effectively reducing the real wage rate. In other words, rather than asking unions to go along with lower nominal wages in order to restore full employment, the government can simply create more price inflation to make workers effectively poorer without it being obvious.” For decades politicians have advocated for increases in the minimum wage, while at the same time, those very politicians support the federal government’s inflationary policies which more than offset any minimum wage increase they vote for.

However, simply raising the minimum wage higher is not the answer either, since such policy, in effect, outlaws employment for those low skilled laborers whose productivity is below the minimum wage threshold. In Planning for Freedom, Ludwig Von Mises, who earned his doctorate in law and economics from the University of Vienna, wrote, “The only means to raise wage rates permanently for all those eager to earn wages is to raise the productivity of labor by increasing the per-head quota of capital invested and improving the methods of production.”

Clarence B. Leatherbury, Gary, Ind.

Not presidential

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is certainly the least presidential in the 17 I’ve followed since liking two classy candidates, Ike Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson in 1952. His is possibly the worst for a major party candidate in American history, having not come across one in my study of history who presented such a major threat to the stable functioning of American democracy should he have been elected. His behavior is so buffoonish, infantile, hate filled and dishonest, I’m still in disbelief he was nominated, much less he’s inexplicably in contention. Sensible, decent Americans are shocked at his insane public call for Russia to hack into Hillary Clinton’s emails. The withering criticism that provoked, including legitimate concern it was treasonous, prompted Trump to claim he was only being sarcastic. Anyone hearing his poisonous words yesterday knows that is bunk. This is simply the Trump shtick; pivot to some preposterous diversion when called out for campaign lunacy that would get just about any other candidate and his hat tossed tossed out of the presidential ring. When a disabled reporter called him out for his vicious, racist lie that his TV projected thousands of Muslims celebrating across the river in NJ as the Twin Towers collapsed, Trump’s pivot was to mock the reporter with a grotesque parody of his disability. As dreadful as it was, the pivot worked, putting the focus on Trump’s disgraceful insensitivity instead of his racist lie.

Cable news made the Trump candidacy plausible by feasting on the rating bonanza he presented instead of calling him out on his compulsive race baiting, lies, character assassination and utterly un-presidential behavior. He kicked off his campaign playing the birther card, using innuendo instead of outright assertions. He went totally berserk hinting at a connection between rival Ted Cruz’s father and the JFK assassination. A hate filled, fearful and uneducated public has kept his candidacy alive.

Both have 102 days to come to their collective senses and “do the right thing.”

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

Wrong site

What right does President Barack Obama have to select free land for his library of redacted documents?

When you accept a free location in the city, it should be someplace where it will benefit the citizens of the city. The Jackson Park site will do nothing to enhance the area; Hyde Park is a diverse area that is economically viable. The West Side or old steel mill sites could use any economic viability from construction of this sort even if the library is inactive after a few years.

John Culloton, Norwood Park