Letters to the editor: Dec. 8 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Dec. 8

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Posted: Sunday, December 7, 2008 6:18 pm | Updated: 10:11 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

In his Tribune column of Nov. 24, Rich Shields claims that more people have been lifted out of poverty in the past 25 years than in all of preceding history (“The most rare find: wise regulation,” Opinion 2).

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THE ECONOMY

Poverty stats misleading

In his Tribune column of Nov. 24, Rich Shields claims that more people have been lifted out of poverty in the past 25 years than in all of preceding history (“The most rare find: wise regulation,” Opinion 2).

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This is a misleading statement as far as the United States is concerned. Between 1960 and 1980, during the socially liberal Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations, the poverty rate among Americans declined sharply from 22.2 percent to 13.0 percent.

However, between 1980 and 2007, during the socially conservative administrations of Reagan, Clinton, and the two Bushes, the poverty rate didn’t drop below 11.3 percent (Source: “The World Almanac and Book of Facts,” 2009 edition).

ROBERT CHRISTIANSEN

TEMPE

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Crow fails to rein in legal expenses

Besides the millions spent on Arizona State University’s building empire — which is of questionable value when class sizes had to be enlarged, tuition raised and staff cut — the taxpayers need to look at ASU’s ballooning tab for outside litigation.

When President Michael Crow was hired in 2002, the bill jumped from $1.9 million to nearly $2.7 million. For 2008, according to ASU, it now stands at $2.88 million. Indeed, any large university or company always faces frivolous lawsuits. But ASU has a string of serious cases hanging on its back that they refuse to settle.

Take the Havasupai Tribe, for example, whose blood samples were taken for one study yet used inappropriately for student theses and other studies.

That’s a clear violation of the law. There’s also worrisome discrimination cases. One professor won her case with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, yet ASU insists on “vigorously” defending itself. Against what? The federal government already found discrimination. Why squander our money on proving ASU is right when they are not?

A woman was raped by a football player. ASU tried to have that case tossed out too. ASU lost their motion in that case too (see Tribune on Oct. 10). Other cases are stacked up in the courts and with EEOC.

Yet the entire state of Arizona — the board of regents, the Legislature and our departing governor — have done nothing to reign in Michael Crow. In fact, the Board of Regents continues to reward him for “delivering” the goods. What? Empty buildings?

Unhappy students? Frightened workers who don’t know if they can pay their rent?

Where is accountability in the state of Arizona? I am looking but haven’t found it yet.

DEBRA J. WHITE

TEMPE

THE ENVIRONMENT

More clean energy now

With the economy crumbling, investments in clean energy can provide the structure and jobs we need to repower Arizona, the West and America. In our otherwise gloomy economy, solar, wind and other clean energy industries have been creating jobs through generating more clean energy. To turn our current trickle of new jobs into a torrent of new economic opportunities, we need to act boldly — and fast.

Regionally, the Western Climate Initiative represents an opportunity for western states to reduce global warming emissions and become a leader in the “green” industry by creating incentives for the development of renewable energy resources. With these incentives, the “green” industry could become a staple of a new economy not only in Arizona but throughout the nation as well.

In rebuilding our economy, Congress should take advantage of the opportunity to begin the shift from a pollution-based economy to a 100 percent clean-energy economy. According to the Center for American Progress, investing $100 billion in solar, wind, energy efficiency and public transit could create 37,234 “green” jobs in Arizona in two years.

Our new president has the chance to boost our economy with clean, “green” jobs, make our nation more energy secure, and reduce global warming pollution.

Environment Arizona is pleased with President-elect Barack Obama’s focus on clean energy and we look forward to his taking us in the right direction starting on day one with clean energy as a cornerstone of any economic recovery plan.

WALTER SAINSBURY

PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

ENVIRONMENT ARIZONA

PHOENIX

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