City officials have priorities wrong
Why did we elect the mayor and the City Council? With the economy the way it is, they must be drinking somebody's Kool-Aid. It is bad enough that they spend $50,000 for a piece of art. Are they crazy? Then, the next day, they turn around and give the city manager a 4 percent raise.
With people getting laid off, plants closing and people just barely hanging on, instead of spending money on art, why not help Pilgrim's Inn, food banks or just plain people who are down on their luck?
Here's an idea: Why not help the homeless? Do something constructive that actually helps people now.
Governor should support education
In recent weeks, I have read many articles and letters to The Herald concerning the possible closing of the Lancaster branch of the University of South Carolina. I would like to add another reason for keeping open this valuable institution.
For years, USCL and many area schools have joined to offer dual credit courses to high school students. The courses apply toward a high school diploma and allow students to acquire college credits for a nominal fee. On a practical level, students may graduate from high school with 15 or more hours of college credit. That is one semester of college that does not have to be paid for. Is that not cost effective for both the student and the state?
I was very disappointed that Gov. Mark Sanford singled out USCL as an "unnecessary" two-year college. South Carolina has been fortunate in having many governors who have worked diligently to improve our state's educational system and our economy. I will mention only a few of these far-sighted governors. Fritz Hollings saw that two-year technical schools would provide our citizens with the opportunity to learn skills that would attract new industry, as well as giving workers good-paying jobs. Dick Riley convinced the people of S.C. to provide the money for the Education Improvement Act. Carroll Campbell, John West and James Edwards encouraged education while actively seeking to bring businesses and industries into our state.
What has happened? We now have a governor who, as far as I can tell, seems concerned only with cutting taxes for the wealthy, getting money from a poor state to pay for school vouchers and threatening government agencies over money issues. However, Gov. Sanford does have time to answer to articles in The Herald that he perceives as critical of his political and economic opinions. Our governor seems very adept at throwing out statistics and numbers that are certainly debatable, but he never seems to show any compassion for the hardships that many South Carolinians are enduring. And he thinks that we don't need any federal money. Is that not our money, too?
'Buy American' won't work
Contrary to the opinion of Mark Hamrick, the new economy depends on the cessation of government meddling in business. The nationalistic mantra of "Buy American" does not work when you sell your product around the globe. It is ludicrous to think that you can make it yourself if you can't find it here. Try making stainless steel without chromium from South Africa, Kazakhstan, India or Russia. Why does Hamrick continue to beat the drum about textiles abandoning America? Does he raise the cotton, spin the yarn, weave the cloth and sew the clothes he is wearing? I bet not. The textile industry did not leave America because Americans were ashamed to be textile workers. It left because businesses that wanted to stay profitable found a less expensive place in the world market of labor to make their product.
I also don't need to be told to turn of my television and computer to set up a shop in my house to build something. Before I could do that, I would have to pay the government for a permit. Why should anyone have to pay the government to make something? Even if I did make something and sell it to my friends, and they made something and sold it to their friends, and so on and so on, and the money never left York County as Hamrick stated, the money would not grow. The money would just go around in a circle.
And why does Hamrick promote selling globally at the same time he spouts the mantra of buying American goods? You can't have an isolationist policy and expect the world to beat a path to your door. Here is some advice for Hamrick: Turn off your television and computer, and take a course in economics.