Letters to the Editor, Dec. 10
It’s adults who failed, not the gun
The editorial “Assault-style rifle is the deadly culprit” is both short-sighted and ill conceived. Kyle Rittenhouse is no hero. No matter how well intentioned he may have been, he was an adolescent, with a firearm, in a place, at a time he had no business being. Where were his parents? Our laws say he was within his rights to be there and possess a firearm.
The culprits are the adults that threaten to kill this teenager, chased him, attacked him with a skateboard and threatened him with a handgun. Had they acted as grownups none of this would have occurred.
The assault- style rifle did exactly as it was designed. It allow a poorly trained teenager to defend himself and only the assailants were injured. In a society where we have a right to defend ourselves and our families, we have a right to the tools that will allow us to do so. To demonize a gun in this instance demonstrates a lack of understanding. If you don’t like guns, change the Second Amendment. This was not about a gun. It was the failure of adults. The crowd, his parents and our legislators for allowing them to come together.
Martin Wilhelm, Marco Island
Skyrocketing rents in South Florida
Rents in Florida, particularly South Florida, are out of control. There are no limits on landlords’ rights to mercilessly gouge tenants. Rent increases as high as 50 percent are common. Unbridled greed is winning out over reasonableness. Wages can’t compete. Affordable rentals are disappearing.
The solution is rent control or stabilization laws that would return sanity to the landlord/renter relationship.
The state Legislature, with the approval of the governor and all state politicians, should level the playing field. A cap on rent increases, probably in the 3-5 percent per year range, should be agreed upon. The renter should have some protections.
Some injustices are obvious and in need of remedy, and this is a cause both the public and the politicians can support. Even the landlords should concede the need to be fair.
Kevin McNally, Bonita Springs
Searching for socialists in the USA
According to the Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, 13th Edition, socialism is “a political and economic theory of social organization based on collective or governmental ownership and democratic management of the essential means for the production and distribution of goods.”
And capitalism is “one in which the ownership of land and natural wealth, the production, distribution and exchange of goods, and operation of the system itself, are effected by private enterprise and control under competitive conditions.”
The key feature that distinguishes capitalism from socialism is that in capitalism the means of production and distribution are privately owned, whereas in socialism those are owned collectively (government).
Obviously, in the USA, ownership of the means of production and distribution is partly private and partly governmental.
Annual production in each sector, private and government, is a measure of the size of that sector. Annual government expenditure as a percent of GDP measures the government share in the economy. For example, in 1980 the federal government share of the economy was 21 percent (Data Source: U.S. Office of Management and Budget).
During the last 40 years (1981-2020), federal government share of the economy is relatively stable from year to year. In that period, the average annual government share over the 24 years of Republican administrations and that over the 16 years of Democratic administrations were the same 21 percent. Thus, there is no shred of evidence to the constant Republican drumbeat that Democrats are on socialistic spending spree.
Mukhtar Ali, Marco Island
Liz Cheney for Republican president!
I am a lifelong real conservative Republican and “have a dream,” a dream that the party of Lincoln can be resuscitated by the remarkable leadership of Liz Cheney. She announced that Trump must testify under oath before the Jan. 6 committee and will be held accountable for every lie. Yes, Liz Cheney is the one Republican who demonstrates the leadership, integrity and perseverance needed for recovery of the Republican Party from the dregs of Trumpism.
William Pettinger M.D., Bonita Springs