August 26, 2002 11:00 pm

Taxes needed for great society

To the Editor:

Three cheers for Gov. John Kitzhaber. He made the right decision to veto more Band-aid approaches to fund education.

We have not been adequately supporting education for decades. It's time for all Oregonians to take a stand and say that we are ready to do what is right and necessary.

We live in a prosperous nation.Yet there is a movement against paying taxes to support our basic systems: education, health care, the environment, etc. Republicans say they want these things for our citizens, but won't support them financially. In other words, since the very, very wealthy can take care of themselves, they won't support taxes that benefit the common good and our future.

Democrats are even getting wishy-washy because they are afraid of losing a few votes. Politicians play games rather than identify right actions and causes.

Even as I applaud Gov. Kitzhaber, I wonder if he would have done this if he were up for election.

As our personal wealth increases — yes, you with the big screen TV's, new cars and daily lattes — our state and national wealth deteriorates. An uneducated populace is evidenced by a national president who is intellectually challenged, and state legislators who bumble along session after session, clueless about how to solve problems.

A quality education system requires money. That means taxes. Taxes are not evil. They are necessary for a great society to fund the things that are really important. You can't take your cell phone with you to the great beyond. But you can leave children and grandchildren with an exceptional education.

Contact everyone you can think of who can make a change and tell them we must increase taxes for schools as well as other critical services.

Janet Nedry

La Grande

Foundation stands by to help

To the Editor:

More than 5 million acres of wildfires have burned across the country this year.

Sixteen firefighters have been killed fighting these wildfires, and seven were seriously injured. And it's only August.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of fallen firefighters.

Families left behind often find themselves with few resources, and the foundation steps in to help.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation provides cash payment support to surviving family members. We also assist with travel expenses for the families of injured firefighters. We have paid out over $49,000 this year.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation is one of the few available sources of funding for families with emergency needs for expenses. We accept donations online at: www.wffoundation.org/donations.html.

We appreciate your support.

For more information, contact the foundation staff at 208-336-2996 or visit our Web site at: www.wffoundation.org.

Vicki Minor, director

Wildland Firefighter Foundation


Too many humans

To the Editor:

In regard to the population projection debate between the planners in Island City and others who project lower numbers, isn't it more important to debate the larger, long-term question of overpopulation in Oregon, the nation and the world.

And shouldn't we begin, finally, to talk about how we must gradually, within the moral and self-restraint framework suggested by the Rev. Thomas Malthus 200 years ago, reduce the population of earth?

Every rancher knows that an average acre of pasture can carry so many cows and no more. Some Utah pastures are so poor that one acre can carry 1/400th of a cow. So with a lake, an acre of water can produce so many fish and no more. A thousand acres of sage will produce so many grouse per year and no more.

No doubt the earth, too, is designed — if it is to be allowed to renew and sustain itself — to carry so many humans and no more; perhaps 2 billion. We now are at 6 billion and still growing.

Most nations are way over their carrying capacity with the result that hordes of legal and illegal immigrants are pouring into nations with lax borders like Canada, the U.S., Australia, even Denmark and Germany.

Karl Marx was furious with the Rev. Malthus because Malthus put the idea of personal responsibility in people's heads. Malthus said that we should marry later and that we should not have children unless and until we were ready and able to support them.

Let's get over our bad habits of boosterism, (faith in) Manifest Destiny and growth for growth's sake.

David Tillotson

Lakemills, Wis.