Inbox — March 6, 2013

Letters to the Editor

A photo caption in last week’s Staffpick about the Louisville Ballet’s performance of “Romeo and Juliet” was incorrect; the dancers pictured are Kristopher Wojtera and Kateryna Sellers.

Told You So
Regarding LEO Weekly’s Feb. 20 cover story “House of Cards,” I hate to say “I told you so.” Well, not really. I am one of the regrettably few people who were vociferous about any type of public financing for the Yum! Center. Now the Tax Increment Financing scheme is showing itself to be deficient. No sports stadium financed with public funds has made money. One way or another, we taxpayers will end up paying for this thing, while U of L makes a ton of money off it. And good luck trying to get Pitino & Co. to renegotiate that sweetheart deal. I hope (in vain, I’m sure) that people here will keep this fiasco in mind as the boosters continue to foist off an NBA team. Again, the gods of U of L and basketball have snookered the people of Louisville.

While no one can predict the future of the economy, Arena Authority chairman Larry Hayes needs to get real. He says the TIF revenue should have no problem “… if you take 5 percent a year growth rate, even a little less …” I, and many other people, would be thrilled with a 5-percent-per-year increase in the economy, but as things stand now, this is a pipe dream.

The Yum! Center may be a splendiferous venue, but it should have never had one cent of public financing.
Robert P. Frederick, East End

A Wage War
In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama proposed putting my two sons out of work. He did it in the name of helping working people. I wish the president would stop trying to help.

He didn’t mention my sons by name (and neither will I to protect their privacy), but his proposal would be very harmful to them if enacted. My sons are just starting out in life; one is 18, the other is 20. They each have jobs that pay at or near the current minimum wage. Neither one of them has, at the moment, the experience or skills that would make them worth $9 an hour to their employers. One of them works for a small business, and I wonder if the business itself could survive such a huge increase in its labor costs. If it did, it would try to raise prices and then probably lose some customers, and then one of its employees, perhaps my son, would get his hours cut severely or his position eliminated altogether.

There is no magic wand to increase everyone’s real wages. Minimum wage increases have three effects: higher prices for everyone; fewer jobs, especially for young and minority workers; and lower investment due to lower returns on investment. Wages go up only for those lucky enough to keep their jobs. I’m not sure my sons will be that lucky.
Rich Mills, Shawnee

Still Divided
Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., two of America’s all-time greatest persons, were martyrs who now belong to the ages. Both men saw injustices and gave every ounce of their being to righting wrongs. Separated in time by four to five generations, liberators Lincoln and King lived in critical times when America was seriously divided along racial and socio-economic lines. They knew our country could not long endure as a house divided.

Now, 45 years after Dr. King’s assassination, America is deeply divided politically, economically, racially. Even the progress we showed by electing an African-American to two consecutive presidential terms is being negated somewhat by our elected representatives’ unwillingness to work for the common good — to compromise. Our divisions are generating increased degrees of hate, which further divide us.

If alive today, I believe King would still be trying to bring us together by way of God’s unifying, transforming love — turn an enemy into a friend. He would also keep calling for God’s will to be done on earth via a compassionate community rooted in justice. King knew our lives are intertwined; we need each other. That’s the way God intended it to be.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews