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Letters to the Editor Feb. 27, 2012

Being a scientist does not make a person innocent

I read with interest Alan Justice’s letter to the editor concerning Sean McAllister and Ron LeValley, the biologists who are accused of embezzling $900,000 from the Yurok Tribe. Certainly these are serious charges, and each man should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise.

I had to laugh, however, when Mr. Justice stated in his letter (“Injustice committed against two upstanding scientists,” Feb. 25) that since they were scientists there could not be any truth to the charges. He was sure because he is a scientist, and because he is a scientist, he cannot be biased. What? Certainly Mr. Justice is aware that everyone has a worldview, even a scientist, and that worldview can alter perception and interpretation of the facts.

Because they are scientists they must be innocent? Scientists aren’t better than other people. Sometimes in fact they can seem a little more arrogant than others. Let the courts decide.

George Wellman

Crescent City

 

Go back to graduated tax so workers have more money

 

For as long as I can remember the citizens of this country have been asking for tax reform, and Congress also spends a great deal of time expounding on this need, but nothing ever happens, other than adding to the horrible mess with which we are now faced.

A change being considered at this time is to take away the incentive to put money to work in the stock market by raising the taxes on dividends and capital gains. At the same time we are told repeatedly that ordinary citizens do not save enough. There is no reason to save money in a bank or money market account as the interest paid does not match inflation, so for every day a dollar sits in one of those institutions it loses money. Taking the risk involved with investing in the market presents about the only way one can hopefully build a source of income to supplement retirement. We certainly should not think any retirement plan, no matter how generous, even boosted by a Social Security payment, will provide a living for the average worker.

It would be more reasonable, in my opinion, to go back to the graduated tax and not worry from whence the income is derived. Where the tax increases occur is for someone else to determine. But doesn’t it make sense that those with the least income no matter where it is derived might pay 15 percent, while those with middle income, whatever that might be, would be faced with 20 percent? Those lucky enough to promote income putting them in a position to enjoy some of the luxuries of life would pay more and those bringing in really huge amounts, determined by the current value of the dollar, would be asked to contribute at a still higher level. What does it matter how that income is earned?

Lois F. Munson

Crescent City

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