Let them eat nothing
Re “Feeling of entitlement is sweeping this country” (Forum, Nov. 29): Don Scheppmann certainly has a finely tuned sense of outrage at all the moochers who want a living wage, affordable housing and education, tax-supported roads and other basic components of a fair society.
What he seems to lack is a sense of irony, which would surely be tickled by the fact that, as a retired state bureaucrat, he has spent his working life at the public trough, with the rest of us paying his salary.
Like many conservatives, he seems to want to pull up the ladder after he has climbed it to a comfortable life.
Harlan Edmonds, Sacramento
Pointing finger in wrong direction
Unless he also denounces entitlements for large corporations, Don Scheppmann is a hypocrite. The government spends something like 50 percent more subsidizing corporations in our so-called free market than it does individuals in need. We don’t make our Department of Defense, which is approximately half our discretionary spending, balance its budget.
Scheppmann is pulling out the same old tired talking points about lazy takers, while completely avoiding the other topics. He talks about providing for our citizens as plunder, while the real plunderers earn more and more off of trading imaginary money while real wages for real workers continue to decline. Corporate inversions, off-shoring, tax havens, etc., continue to cause our economy to decline while the burden of paying for things falls more and more heavily on the little guys.
Dawn Wolfson, Cameron Park
Entitlement in eye of the beholder
Don Scheppmann, a retired state worker, has undoubtedly enjoyed many of the benefits he begrudges others. As a self-employed professional, surrounded by state workers, I’ve been acutely aware of all the benefits their employment provides that many private sector people lack, i.e. secure employment, free ongoing training with advancement opportunities, generous paid vacation, sick and holiday leave, coffee breaks and affordable health insurance for themselves and family members.
I’ve always kept in mind, as I suggest Scheppmann might, that providing entitlements helps maintain a middle class which sustains financial stability in our community and helps prevent the disaster of a two-tiered society. State and union employment are two methods of creating a higher quality of life for all of us, directly and indirectly.
Carol A. Voyles, Sacramento
Focus on the value, not the cost
What an easy target, the poor. Pick on those making a minimum wage that doesn’t pay enough to actually live on. Vilify the working poor who want health care, as though having a healthy society is a bad idea. Clutch your money, as though it is worth more than morality itself.
If you must pick on those you believe are entitled, start at the top; that’s where entitlement in this country truly begins: Corporations gaming the system by setting up shop overseas to avoid U.S. taxes, CEOs insisting on skyrocketing compensation, politicians demanding perks they deny the public, to list a few examples.
Why do those groups, the ones that shape our world, get a free pass on entitlement? Those real-life examples, in dollars spent or lost, far exceed the cost of paying decent wages to citizens stuck in poverty or making college more affordable. Focus on the value, not the cost.
Robert Stoltz, Sacramento
Double standard on entitlements
I had to laugh and cry when I read Don Scheppmann’s article whining about the less fortunate in our country wanting higher wages and other kinds of help from the government.
All people need a decent wage and health care to live in this country. Seems that Scheppmann has a double standard about the problem with those who depend on government and taxpayers. Well on the other side of the entitlement picture look up www.transparentcalifornia.com and you will find by state, county, city, special districts all the pension and benefit entitlements that public employees have gleaned from the government and rely on the taxpayer to pick up the tab if their pension and benefit coffers run low.
Alan Sears, Sacramento
Entitlement rant cherry picks facts
Don Scheppmann’s column exaggerates a few examples and tries to build them into a cohesive argument that simply isn’t true. It is particularly galling coming from a retired state employee. Expecting health care insurance isn’t an expectation of an entitlement, it’s the same thing Scheppmann expected the public to pay for when he took his job.
Organizing a group for higher minimum wages isn’t a demand for an entitlement, it’s part of a market force. I don’t think any student expects a free education, but that’s the standard in many countries and California’s affordable education was the gold standard 40 years ago.
As for people with a real sense of entitlement, look no further than CEO pay or state pensions for examples. This article is nothing more than a rant by someone angry about taxes who has nevertheless reaped benefits from taxes and government for most of his life.
Bill Carrington, Granite Bay
Predictable criticism of sheriff
Re “Sacramento County, meet the Internet age” (Editorials, Nov. 29): So predictable. The Sacramento Bee editorial board’s attack on Sheriff Scott Jones made sure to mention that he is a (gasp) Republican. In the board’s eyes, that alone should disqualify him from any office. You neglected to include the other reason he is unworthy to walk the planet. He actually issued permits (gasp) to carry concealed weapons to qualified law-abiding citizens.
James Bleecker, Sacramento
Be fearful, not just of Trump
Re “It’s all about Trump” (Forum, The Drawing Board of editorial cartoons, Nov. 29): Not only should we be fearful of presidential candidate Donald Trump, we should also be fearful of those who support him.
He disrespected Republican Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam War hero, and Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. More recently, he mocked a reporter’s physical disability. How many presidential candidates do that?
Good leaders, especially a leader of the most powerful country in the world, do not do that. They build bridges, not walls. They mend, not offend. What kind of people would support a divider, hater and fabricator like Trump? I detect in Trump and his supporters an ideology consistent with haters and suppressors of the past.
It is clear to me that Trump and his supporters have bad intentions; and rather than benefit our country, they will doom us and our country. I fear the worse should Trump be elected. For our sake, I hope reason and common sense prevail.
Jose Gonzalez, Roseville
High-tech guns, low-tech minds
Re “The Conversation / Smart guns” (Forum, Nov. 29): The not-so-surprising responses against smart guns and safer weapons ranged from the same old excuses (banning and confiscating, and prohibition laws) to the downright insane (government would be able to disable the weapons whenever it wanted). It makes one wonder how on earth these people ever took the risky step of commenting on Facebook for fear someone might open their letter before it got to the editor, or Anonymous might hack into their online account or, worse yet, the government might press the Internet kill switch.
If we truly value safety and life, the positives of a free market society which encourages new technology and innovation, then smart guns should be allowed for purchase. Even if it can save just one life – then this technology is a safeguard worth exploring.
Keith Carmona, Roseville
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