Letters to the Editor for Sep 11, 2003
Thursday, September 11, 2003
The current state of Monterey County's draft General Plan is about as understandable as a Jackson Pollock painting viewed on a moonless night. In fact, the only difference between the two is that there are people crazy enough out there to buy the Pollock. Nobody's going to buy this new General Plan.
Picking at random, here is a ripe example found in Policy ER 9.4. "In order to maintain visual continuity, new development projects within the view shed of designated scenic highways and roads and public viewing areas shall be designated to be in scale with or subordinate to the character of the scenic resource area."
What kind of enforceable nonsense is this? Besides sounding like it was written by someone who cut their teeth penning IRS documents, this policy could be interpreted fifty different ways. View sheds? Scenic resource areas?! What?! In the future we will all need fine arts degrees to understand our County.
Michael D. Millett | Salinas
Let's Get Real Logical
Oppositional dialogue and debate are necessary for the evolution of social thought and for the formation of political theory. Gladly, then, I welcome Thomas Strenge's arguments [Letters, Aug. 28-Sept. 3]. And I must insist that rules of logic and debate be followed.
To accuse of "over-simplified drivel" is a combination of begging the question and of ad hominem in a single phrase. Strenge begs the question of where is the over-simplification, while attacking his opponent through similes to saliva drips.
When Strenge refers to the four-year-old tax fact sheet accounting for an adjusted gross income of over $100,000 being in the top 10 percent, his argument skirts the issue of what loopholes were used to adjust the income. These loopholes might well be government subsidies to the people who can afford the "risk" of investments. It's hard to tell what the "pair of high school teachers" actually had in investments or inheritance, but it does not follow that a tax bracket four years ago applies to today's top 10 percent or "rich" class.
Most lamentable is the accusation of "communism." Even if my argument were "communist," it wouldn't be nullified by generalizations about the results of socialist republics. It could be argued that what led to the disaster of the Soviet Union was the combination of totalitarianism and corruption in government, both of which have been increasingly evident in our own nation.
But my argument is not communist. It is a suggestion that the greatest benefactors of our economic system should be contractually bound to carry their weight. Those whose trucks most wear out the roads should pay most for the roads. Those who most benefit from free (not enslaved) labor need to bear responsibility for the swath of unemployment in the market, the health and safety risks of the labor force and the education of the next generation. It is a matter of negotiation and justice.
The brunt of my argument, however, is not against rich people, but rather corporations which side-step taxes. This problem, exacerbated under the rule of crony governors and presidents, is not addressed by either the Democrats or the Republicans.
The only gubernatorial candidate who addresses the issue of corporativism is Green Party candidate Peter Miguel Camejo. If you want government for the people, vote for him.
W. Mark Poehner | Monterey