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Letters
Voice of the People, Aug. 1, 2020

Power corrupts Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy seems to think he has the power of God and each day exercises that power to a greater degree.

Murphy has let his authority go to his head. I think he has single handedly destroyed the state economy of New Jersey. Oh, there are people who think what his lordship has done is actually on their behalf. They believe that he has their health and safety at the very top of the list.

I think some people have become so naive in their thinking. He seems to have done just about everything in his power to destroy Atlantic City and don’t think for one second that he doesn’t have his own agenda. The only problem is he’s the only person that knows what that is.

Bob Lancione

Atlantic City

Wear masks outdoors

I walk early on the Ventnor Boardwalk and I see very few people wearing masks. People spend hundreds of dollars buying expensive running shoes to protect their feet, buying bike helmets to protect their heads, and buying sunscreen to protect their bodies, yet some don’t wear a mask outdoors. I recently walked behind a maskless, sweaty runner who was coughing with every step — I altered my path. Wearing a mask around the neck, on a wrist or under the nose is worthless. I wear a mask to protect others from me, and people should wear a mask to protect me from them.

Randee Dutton

Margate

Reopen government

I would like to say that as much as President Trump is ensuring that the children go back to school and everyone goes back to work, I cannot understand why many of the government agency IRS employees have not gone back to work.

There are people still waiting for their tax refund or to receive or get information from the IRS and all you get are employees at home with no answers.

You can’t get anyone on the phone for unemployment matters either, but people are ready to send children back to school.

Yes they need an education, but their parents need their refund or unemployment to help care for their children as well.

Get these government agencies fully open and running. I am sure a lot of people would appreciate the gesture.

Deborah Gunter

Ventnor


Commentary
AP
Empower stay-at-home parents with childcare choices, says Cynthia M. Allen

Seems like odd timing for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to unveil a plan that would pump billions of dollars into early childhood care and education.

Considering the current ethos, largely espoused by members of his own party, that “virtual learning” is a perfectly adequate means of educating all children and that teachers quite suddenly are “not essential” in the normal functioning of society.

But in announcing his $775 billion plan to solve the “caregiving crisis in America,” Biden is right about a few things.

Families with kids need help. They are “squeezed emotionally and financially,” he said, and many are forced to make tough decisions about work, school, home life and child care.

Biden wants to help some of those families by offering tax credits of $8,000 per child for working parents earning less than $125,000 annually. He also wants to create nationwide pre-K for all children ages 3 and 4.

The long-term educational benefits of pre-K are worth debating, but let’s stipulate that while it helps some children, for many other families (especially those in higher income brackets), pre-K is effectively publicly funded child care.

Biden and his cohort think that’s a good thing, primarily because such a program would allow more women to enter the workforce, and presumably provide many households with increased incomes, since they wouldn’t be forking over loads of cash for expensive childcare.

That’s probably the same reason his plan offers working families generous tax incentives — to encourage more people to work outside the home.

But what about families that choose to have one parent stay at home?

What about moms (and dads) who voluntarily home-school; who sacrifice careers, professional advancement and salaries for years and years; who downsize and live frugally on a single income so that they can be home with their children?

Biden’s proposal holds nothing for them.

In fact, instead of incentivizing parents to make the choice that is best for their families — which isn’t always a dual-income household with both parents working full time outside the home — Biden’s plan intentionally harms and excludes parents who stay home.

That’s inequitable, short-sighted and wrong.

To be sure, in the era of COVID, quarantine and social isolation, families have been cooped up for weeks on end, and many parents would love a little separation from their kids.

But in more normal circumstances, that isn’t usually the case.

Studies and data show that while many moms who stay home would prefer to be working (an estimated 7.3 million in 2015), more than twice as many (an estimated 17.8 million) work and would prefer to stay home.

Indeed, “preference mismatch” is significantly more common among working women, who would rather be home or putting in fewer hours, than among mothers who find themselves “stuck” at home.

The problem is too many women who would choose to be home don’t have the option for financial reasons — even after factoring in the cost of child care.

And offering them free or subsidized childcare wouldn’t help them to stay home.

A better solution to the “caregiving crisis” would be a child allowance, which would empower parents to make their own choices about what is best for their kids and family life. Working parents could use the allowance for child care; parents who want to stay home would be less cash-strapped.

It would be cost-effective and wouldn’t force families to choose a single approach to family life.

And no one would be financially penalized for their choice.

In addition to his one-size-fits-all solution to childhood caregiving, Biden wants to increase salaries for professional caregivers, who he said “are too often underpaid, unseen and undervalued.”

So are stay-at-home parents.

During these unusual times, when parents are literally doing all the things — teaching, working, maintaining households — policymakers (and wannabe presidents) should be proposing ways to strengthen and empower families, not prop-up government institutions. Because we know just how reliable they are these days.

Email Cynthia M. Allen, a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, cmallen@star-telegram.com.


Letters
Digital Voices, Aug. 1, 2020

“Young, fit lifeguards have the best chance for a quick cure. Will be back on the job soon.”

Tanya Martin

via Facebook

‘24 Long Beach Island lifeguards

test positive for virus’

“N.J. needs to fix its unemployment issues and stop expecting landlords to go without payment. They have bills too.”

Nicola Delorio

via Facebook

‘NJ eviction moratorium continues,

as COVID-19 crisis enters sixth month’

“Well done, Rowan! I admire your ethics.”

Joanne Zingaro

via Facebook

‘Rowan University lowers tuition cost

due to COVID-19’

“This is a good plan even if it will fail to relieve backed-up traffic on heavy summer travel days.”

Richard McDonald

via PressofAC.com

‘In Somers Point, one area’s parkway-traffic solution is another’s headache’

“Wouldn’t you have to open them first?”

Mike Grogan

via Facebook

‘Tips to avoid getting sick at the gym’

“Censorship in America should scare everyone.”

Vienna Kinsey Snyder

via Facebook

‘Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remove viral video making coronavirus claims’

“This must end before we find ourselves in a true depression of our own creation.”

Richard S. Zoppo

via PressofAC.com

‘Court rules New Jersey can

shut down gym that defied closure’

“If his royal highness will stop playing God and open restaurants, maybe there would be work for people.”

Jeannie Petrarca

via Facebook

‘What to do after your $600 weekly unemployment bonus expires’

“They never should have opened on Thanksgiving.”

Debbie Off

via Facebook

‘Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods join Walmart in closing on Thanksgiving’