Mail and Commentary: December 7, 2011 

Quote of the Week: "I knew Idaho was a Red State, I didn't realize it was a China Red State. Bull shit!!!..."

--larrypsy, (BW, Screen, "What a Shame," Nov. 30, 2011)

Otter Unemployment Rant Insensitive, Unrealistic

Gov. Otter,

I am writing to express my disbelief at the comments coming from your office and your administration in regard to future extensions of unemployment benefits.

I am a 30-year resident of Idaho. I have worked, married, raised a family, paid taxes and have been an active participant as a citizen. We have always, I repeat, always lived within our means. We have never had credit card debt, nor did we buy a house out of reach for our lifestyle. Fiscally, we are conservative.

I have been displaced from my career twice in the past three years. In 2008, I was earning a healthy salary when my position was eliminated with an employer for whom I had worked for nearly 15 years. I was shocked and unprepared, as I had been a high-performing, highly active employee for years.

In early 2009, I took a position with another family-owned company as VP Idaho for a food-service brokerage. I took a 20-percent pay cut but was still earning above average. I stabilized the Idaho division and helped improve the profitability for the entire company, which was then bought by a large regional brokerage. My position was then eliminated.

I have been actively seeking a career, have participated in many of the Department of Labor workshops, trainings, professional networking groups. I have applied to approximately 200 jobs. I have had some interviews. I have received no offers.

Your--and your director of the DOL's--comments are unbelievable. There are nowhere near enough jobs that pay a livable wage to put everyone to work, and yet you wish to eliminate future extensions. By doing so, your administration will put more people in foreclosure, more people on welfare, more people in the shelters. Your actions will not create any jobs but will further reduce the total employment numbers through a reduction in overall monetary exchange. Less money spent on groceries. Less on fuel, less on clothing, less on utilities.

Certainly there are abusers to any system, but I have always believed the vast majority of humans want to do the right thing and support themselves, better themselves and better raise their children and families.

I find your comments insensitive and unrealistic. Thank the Lord I am healthy and have not needed medical care, as I am uninsured. I'll gladly send you my resume if you would help me find a position, I would greatly appreciate it.

In the meantime, reconsider your stance on unemployment extensions and help those who need help.

--Phil Carney, Eagle

Forget Amex small biz day. Want to support local? Pay With Cash.

As a small local business owner, I appreciate all the effort people put into buying local. But for a shop small businesses day to be sponsored by American Express is ridiculous.

Many small businesses do not accept American Express because its fees are so much higher than Visa or Mastercard.

Banks make tens of billions of dollars every year from merchants who accept credit cards. Businesses are charged tens of thousands of dollars each year so their customers can use their credit cards. Banks encourage customers to use their debit cards as credit (requiring a signature) because they charge the merchant more for those transactions.

The best way to support small businesses is to pay cash. Then the bank does not make the enormous fee they charge the merchant. It would be interesting to see how much the banks who we bailed out and are now profiting billions each year would be affected if we put our debit and credit cards away for just one day.

--Sandra Erickson, Boise

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