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For corporations or consumers?

Analysis of the Violation Tracker data base compiled by the nonprofit organization Good Jobs First (www.goodjobsfirst.org) shows that Trump-appointed regulators routinely side with corporations over consumers.

During Trump’s first two years in office, three U.S. consumer-protection regulators completed 84 cases, down 37 percent from 133 cases in President Obama’s last two years in office. Those three agencies are the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

At the CFPB, during Trump’s first two years, enforcement was down 54 percent from Obama’s last two years in office.

The CPSC completed only seven enforcement actions in Trump’s first two years, compared to 13 in Obama’s final two years.

The FTC completed 40 enforcement actions during Trump’s first two years in office, down 31 percent from 58 cases in Obama’s final two years.

These three consumer-protection regulators penalized companies $1,417 million during Trump’s first two years in office, less than a third of $4,810 million in Obama’s final two years.

Non-enforcement of consumer-protection laws benefits corporations, in turn their share-holders, at the expense of the consumers. The 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances shows that top 1 percent in wealth owns 40 percent of the stock.

The net result is a redistribution of wealth, in this case to the top 1 percent from the rest. The redistribution of wealth is the core principle of socialism, i.e. reward is not based on merit. Here one is rewarded by breaking the laws and punished for obeying. Clearly, Trump Republicans are practicing socialists.

Mukhtar M. Ali, Marco Island

Norway’s ways

Trump doesn’t like immigrants, except Norwegians, but why would they leave their home? Norway has been voted the world’s second-most happy nation.

Maybe because there is almost no poverty; public university and vocational school tuition is free; the typical vacation is five weeks, not two weeks; there is generous leave for sickness and for parents with new babies; and among other benefits, universal health care. And there is plenty of opportunity to excel economically, as was evidenced by the many private boats I saw in several of the harbors.

But Trump will be relieved that not many Norwegianwill come. If they did, they might demand thatAmerica adopt a key anti-corruption tool of their progressive, capitalistic country:

All tax returns are available to anyone online. Perhaps that’s why Norway is seventh best on the Public Corruption Scale and the U.S. ranks only 22nd. Russia, a favorite of Trump, ranks 138th.

Tom Slater, East Naples

What happened to the USA?

If I were in a time capsule in 1955 and arrived in the USA today, I would be totally confused.

After over 400,000 American deaths in World War II, we now see a 50 percent growth of white supremacist groups from 100 in 2017 to 148 in 2018 (source: the Southern Poverty Law Center). We see neo-Nazi demonstrations and a president who called those in Charlottesville “some good people.” We see anti-Semitism displays from shooting at a synagogue, swastikas and tombstones upturned in Jewish cemeteries.

We built the great federal highway system and paidfor post-war with a 91 percent tax rate from

a Republican president and thought anything was possible, including a man on the moon.

Today our roads and bridges are crumbling, some deny global warming and a new tax code with 20 percent of benefits to the top 1 percent (source: the Tax Foundation).

In health care, we are the most expensive in the world and rank last in ratings of the 11 countries of the Western industrialized world in a Commonwealth Fund survey. Yet the ACA is being torn apart after aiming at increasing health care and lowering the cost, and financial assistance for low-income families.

So, citizens, are we headed in a positive or negative direction in this country?

Glenn Mueller, East Naples

‘Had enough of Trump’

My detestation for him in Washington grows more intense as we move along here. I can’t stomach his tirades day to day, his disrespect for those people whom he could never personify — namely, the Honorable Sen. John McCain as of late and many more who have had the honor of holding this office.

My God, (not really religious) how much more of his perfunctory behavior must we endure? Is he really worth it? You can’t convince me he is presidential material, no matter what the atmosphere in this country.

One man is not responsible for, nor the cause of, whatever prosperity you might experience in this country. Many people and positive persuasive entities drive this country forward.

Come 2020, show the world we have had enough of Trump’s perfidy in this country. This administration must not perdure!

Dick Murphy, Golden Gate Estates

Trump on Memorial Day

As a Vietnam veteran and the son of a World War II veteran, I was dismayed to see that Donald Trump opted not to attend a Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery, as most of his predecessors in the White House did.

Instead, Trump opted to go to Japan, our WWII adversary, to award a trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling match.

Bill McMaster, East Naples

More: Letters to the Editor, May 28

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