Nov. 20 2013 08:56 AM

Our readers tell us what they think

Republicans are necessary

It is amazing to me that you and so many others can find no culpability or responsibility with the Democrats for the messes we all have to endure ["Editorial," Oct. 16]. I'm sure you and others would hope the Republican Party would disappear. Take a good look at our own state now and in the near future, where the Republicans have no power, and watch what happens when you lose the checks and balances our founding fathers so brilliantly instituted. Good luck.

Scott Hawes, Clairemont

‘Typical liberal ideology'

In response to your Oct. 16 editorial: The Dems are as guilty, if not more, for the government shutdown. You say the GOP "needlessly and recklessly" caused it. I would hope that our elected officials would stand up for what they believe in, don't you agree?

Republicans sent more than one continuing resolution funding everything except the Affordable Care Act. Now it looks like that wasn't a bad idea. The Obamacare opening is an absolute farce. Obama had more than three years to get this thing ready to roll, and it's a total debacle. We can't enroll even if we wanted to because the damned website doesn't even work! Dems, this should be an obvious clue as to how the future of this program will play out.

Furthermore, almost everything Obama promised about the Affordable Care Act is a lie. We can't keep our previous insurance, we have to change doctors and our premiums are going up! These are just for starters. It's typical liberal ideology, robbing Peter to pay Paul. Your propagandist, leftist rag has been singing the same tune for years. "Move to the ideological center," you say? I think it would do you and us, the readers, much more good if you tried a more balanced approach.

Justin McGlynn, El Cajon

Minimum-wage hike's impacts

In response to Paul Richard's Oct. 16 letter to the editor, "Formula for disaster": He writes, "The whole idea of one being self-employed is to earn an income, not to give other people jobs." Why, then, are we constantly lectured about small businesses being "job creators" and not "income earners"?

All those Bush tax cuts were supposed to create millions of jobs. They didn't—job creation during Bush-Cheney was the worst in 50 years. But they certainly produced income—especially for the 1 percent: Corporate profits skyrocketed, and the wealth gap between rich and poor widened dramatically.

He asks, "So what if top economists think [raising the minimum wage] matters little? How many of them have their own businesses?" Owning a business doesn't make you an economic expert any more than owning a football team makes you a football expert.

Yes, raising the minimum wage may have some temporary adverse effect on some small businesses. But numerous studies—yes, by economic experts— show the overall benefits outweigh the costs to the economy. As a business owner, I'd treat it like any other costs (supplies, rent, utilities, gasoline, etc.), which increase over time.

So, spare us the crocodile tears. The "cut taxes no matter what so the rich can get richer" economics of the last 30 years is the real formula for disaster. If modestly raising the minimum wage puts you out of business, then maybe you're not a very good businessman.

Rick Chiszar, University Heights

Best of—WTF!

Regarding your Oct. 16 Best of San Diego issue: Are you freaking kidding me? "Best Bank"? Need I remind you idiots that they played a major role in, and still do, dragging our economy into the crapper? Unfreaking-believable! That category shouldn't even exist in your otherwise fine rag! I give you guys a big "WTF" on that one.

Tony Bernardo, North Park

Caution: merging cars

The story about Car2Go by Joshua Emerson Smith in your Oct. 30 issue was of considerable interest to my wife and me. We sold our car in 2004, primarily because of a lack of affordable parking available in downtown San Diego, insurance and gasoline costs. MTS was promising an expansion of trolley service and we were looking forward to the arrival of a new concept in auto rentals from a service called "FlexCar."

FlexCar offered a variety of vehicles, which were parked in identified-dedicated parking spaces Downtown, including some in the garages of commercial buildings. As with Car2Go, a membership card was used to gain access to the vehicle, but it had to be returned to the location where it was picked up. There was no free parking at city meters, but fuel and insurance were included in the very reasonable rates. There was no limit on where a car could be taken; when the brush fires of a few years ago compromised our breathing in San Diego, we fled to Tucson for a couple of days in a FlexCar hybrid Honda.

We knew at that time that there was another service called ZipCar, mostly on the East Coast and at a few major universities on the West Coast. Then came the death sentence for FlexCar. We received a notice from Zip that they were "merging" with FlexCar and that the future would bring incredible new advantages! More vehicles, more locations, more features—wonderful times ahead! The merger turned out to be a merger in the sense that you might merge with a crocodile or a grizzly bear. One day there were FlexCars in many locations; the next day they had all vanished! If you wanted a ZipCar, you must ride a bus to the nearest university campus or affiliated hospital for a very limited selection.

We joined Car2Go when it opened in San Diego and have used them frequently. There are limitations: Only room for two in a car, and since we don't have smartphones, we simply look around a few blocks of Downtown from our apartment's 14th-floor balcony hoping to spot one. More often than not, someone else will get to the first couple of cars we covet. But I dread the day when I get a notice from Car2Go telling me that a wonderful new era is on the horizon: They will be merging with a service called Potrebie-Shurdlu Rentals and will mean more cars, more variety, more features—a bright shining future.

Lyle and Evelyn Davidson, Downtown

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