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People’s Column

Build workers, not wall

Editor, OBSERVER:

Recently, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Donald Trump said, “The GOP will be from now on the party … of the American worker. First, we need to define what this great, great unprecedented movement is and what it actually represents. The core conviction of our movement is that we are a nation that will put its own citizens first.”

One of the most important things we should be doing as a nation is to actually address the needs of American workers, not simply sloganeer about it.

While our President Trump rails against our international trade and all of our trading partners, little thought or effort is given to helping our low-skilled workers displaced primarily by automation (not globalization solely).

Alexander Hitch of the Chicago Council on Global affairs suggests that we must renew and reinvigorate the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. This was created in the 1970s to help retrain workers who lost employment as a consequence of import competition and the movement of jobs to lower cost countries. Under the program, former employees are allowed up to three years of benefits to cover living expenses, relocation, and schooling to retrain in an employable field.

Instead of spending $21 billion on a wall on the Mexican border that assuredly will be paid for by American workers, i.e., American taxpayers, we should boost the Trade Adjustment Assistance program and make it applicable to all low skill American workers.

What’s the liklihood that our President Trump and Congressman Tom Reed will pass on the “Wall” and really try to help American workers? The “Wall” is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. Forget it and truly put the American worker first.

SUSAN PARKER,

Fredonia

Jumping gun on Russia

Editor, OBSERVER:

I totally agree with a letter last week (March 5). Media is very important … and as long as they report the truth and without bias, all is well. If they don’t, they can control the thinking of the majority of the public. It is pretty easy to report a subject and lean it slightly to the left or the right by elimination of a comma or a small word here and there.

Remember Russia back in the ’40s and ’50s. Russians who came here to perform in ballet or other events, came with members of the Secret Service who kept strict control of every minute of their day so they didn’t decide to defect and stay here after they got a glimpse of what America was really like.

There have been incidents in this country the past few years that are quite alarming to those of us who aren’t liberals. This is the big reason the Democrats were so surprised at the results of the election. They believed all the polls out there claiming Hillary was a shoo-in.

Russians don’t vote in our elections. Hacking the Democrats might have been irritating but … no way are they responsible for the loss. Our Democratic party wasn’t paying attention to those voters out there who decided they were tired of the way the country was headed and their constant attempts at keeping Trump from doing what he said he would do, will NOT bode well for them in the next elections in 2018.

Who cares if Jeff Sessions had a meeting with Russian ambassadors. So did Obama. So did Hillary. So did Chuck Schumer. So do lots of our elected officials from both parties. It happens all the time.

NORMA DIKEMAN,

Portland

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