Letters: Advice for graduates and the president of the United States


Advice for the grads

Congratulations, graduates.

I would like to offer my insights on what lies ahead and things you might be able to do that may save you a lot of unnecessary expense and anxiety in years to come.

The advice could come under the heading, “Don’t do it my way.”

No matter what you’re told, everyone and every institution out there is primarily out for themselves. Unless you’re extremely talented, you’ll be lucky to find decent work at all, never mind the work of your dreams.

The best advice I can give is to pursue any path that leads to any government job at any level. Outside of health care, which is the most rapidly growing field in the U.S., when working in the private sector you’ll make less than those in government.

Do not allow idealism to lead you to forsake such vital concerns as health insurance and pensions. When you reach 60 — my age — you’ll most definitely want health insurance, a pension and to retire. But in the private sector, unless you’ve been very savvy, you’ll be without them and the consequences could be dire.

My friends who worked government jobs are now all pleasantly retired, traveling and enjoying a steady stream of income and health benefits. And unless you stand to inherit a business, why bother starting one when so few are really successful?

There are so many career paths leading to a government job. It’s true, a certain level of mediocrity and inertia often becomes the norm. But all the while you’ll be investing in your well-being.

At the same time, you’ll have the strength of powerful unions behind you, something totally unavailable to a business person or an employee in most private sector jobs.

Do not believe platitudes such as “the stars are yours.” But with a little common sense and education, a good government job can be yours. The rewards will be a steady, dependable income and a healthy, relatively prosperous and guaranteed retirement.

Should you get a government job, hang on to it until you retire. You’ll thank your lucky stars.

All the best!

Harry Katz


Pay attention

The upheaval in Europe has been going on for a long time now.

The lead program to stabilize and rebuild the European economy has been austerity, the reducing of debt, the stopping of payments toward as many programs as possible and a general “no spending” mantra.

At the recent G8 summit, attended by President Obama and the European nations, a new approach surfaced. Led by President Obama and France’s prime minister, Mr. Hollande, the continued decline of the European economy was dissected and a changed approach gained headway.

Discarding austerity and embarking on cautious spending to rebuild infrastructure, support education, support social programs and other efforts was discussed and seemed to carry the day. Hopefully it is not too late to turn back a European economic disaster.

This story is current history that we voters need to pay attention to. The current GOP mantra is “reduce spending any way possible” and because of it our recovery is very slow. The Obama direction is to put stimulus spending in the right places to create current employment along with lasting national value.

The president wants investment in our tired infrastructure, bridges and transit systems as well as green energy and a cleaner and healthier environment such as clean air and water and spending on education and more.

This is a program that builds jobs, reduces public misery, upgrades our country, improves our health and reduces our reliance on the oil dictators. This program also grows the economy and GDP. Mr. Obama is logically putting first things first.

When these benefits take hold, and we continue our reduction in military wasteful spending, we will face a manageable budget and renewed quality of American life. Then we tackle the debt.

We voters must pay attention, for this is really important.

Howard Meinke


A real apology

Barack Obama should be apologizing to the American people for things such as the Solyndra debacle and the wasteful prosecutions of John Edwards and Roger Clemens rather than apologizing to the rest of the world for our nation’s strengths.

Edward Boyd