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Is anyone looking out for the working?

January 28, 2013

I wrote a column pretty much blasting an awful lot of what I call right wing rhetoric, or dogma. I’ll stand by each and every word of that....

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(23)

Steiner

Jan-28-13 8:30 AM

Paul sounds like Rush. Rush says the dems are not the party of the working man anymore. Who is behind all the envirohysteria ? democrats. Hey Paul, rich people deserve their money. You sound like a union member who says you can have any education you want as long as it is democratic and union, our public schools. The democratic party we have today is not the same as the one in the 60's. Today it is the wackos, fringe and other extreme views. All viewed as normal by the libs.

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judeye

Jan-28-13 8:37 AM

"More business leaves this state and this country over environmental rules than labor costs by double"

Would you post where you got this information? I would like to read it for myself.

"the fact is that the requirements for graduating high school now are less than what was required for junior high many years ago." Also where did you get this? Most of my teacher friends are telling me that the kids are learning things much EARLIER than we ever did. I just know helping my granddaughter..who is in fifth grade..with her math is sometimes a challenge to ME! They are learning algebra, geometry and 'ladder' systems.

Things have changed since we were kids. How many parents have the time to pack a lunch in the mornings these days? How many kids walk to school? Why do so many parents pick their children up every day from school? Why cant we keep schools open longer so that the kids can use the computers that are already there to help do their homework?

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Steiner

Jan-28-13 9:09 AM

Judeye, look at the air in beijing. Full of pollution. they are adding coal plants too. Poor or no enviro regs. Labor costs important ? you support raising the minimum wage. I'd say tou have no business sense at all. The enviro wackos succeeded in moving everything to other countries to save the planet. Think back to what Buffalo was like in the 60's. we had the steel mills a refinery too. Numerous chemical odors. Jobs galore. Now it is all gone. the good old days Judeye. perhaps unions would help here ?

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Dcronlg

Jan-28-13 10:19 AM

well, now you've done it -- you shown both sides how ignorant your are.

Welfare is only 12% of the federal budget, yet 15% of our citizens live in poverty and almost 1/3 are single moms with children. Go ahead -- ask a single mom with children if she's having soooo much "fun", eh?

School funding? Right now, depending in which district you live the state and US govt are paying for 56% - 80% of school budgets. So, you are only paying for about 1/4 of the entire school budget.

Free school lunches? 31 million kids need a free lunch. They're free because the parents can't afford a paper bag lunch.

Liberals push college-only? Liberals support BOCES and want to spend more. BTW -- if it weren't for SUNY-Fredonia, Fredonia would look like Brocton.

I could go on, but you have no idea what you're talking about.

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SmallTownSmallMind

Jan-28-13 11:35 AM

Steiner says the dem party has changed, and he is right. The repub party has changed as well. Dems used to be for the working class, and Repubs were always about fiscal conservatism. Now both operate from the fringe and leave the middle out. That is where Paul is, I believe. He is right in many of his claims although he is wrong about high school being easier. It is not. I was a high school English teacher for years and lived through the change. In many respects, high school ed in NYS is a microcosm for middle class in our state. The very smart and the very challenged get the money and attention in the schools just as the very rich and the very poor get the money and attention in our society. We are neglecting our middle, the $2 bettor, if you will. We have to take better care of our middle, and I think Paul is making that point.

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Christopher

Jan-28-13 11:52 AM

I wrote this column some time ago, weeks, just to prove a point, and it worked. People who always supported any criticism I had of the right wing, are now resorting to the same sort of bashing, the same name calling, because I took aim at their sacred cows this time. (I'm not going to argue specifics with anyone, why bother?)Anyway, I expected that. It's what politics are in America and why nothing ever gets settled. There is no longer a middle ground. I don't usually respond to my own columns, but this is my last one. The Observer and I have a difference of opinion on what a column should be, subject-wise. Anyway, for my supporters, thank you. For my detractors, I'm sure I just made your day. For Phil, Steiner, and I guess Dcronig and a few others, my being gone doesn't make you any less wrong than you usually are. Enjoy your day. Goodbye.

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PhilJulian

Jan-28-13 1:04 PM

It's all part of the dumbing down of America. Put a dish of free food outside and there is a good chance the wild animals will have it devoured before daylight and there is a good chance the animals will be back the next nite looking for another freeby. Humans are not alot different. Give them free food, housing, and other necessities and they will be back the next morning looking for more. So, what is the cause of all this grief? There was a time when the majority ruled and taxpayers were respected. For example,the vote on the county home would have been approved because the majority voted "yes". In todays world the minority rules because that's the way politicians wants it in order to get votes from special interests. There was a time when government served the people but that has now changed - the people serve the government and the lack of representation for the majority is killing our once proud country. Paul - if you ever write in the Observer again, please take anothe

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PhilJulian

Jan-28-13 1:05 PM

(con't) please take another picture!

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Christopher

Jan-28-13 2:12 PM

Some people LOVE that picture, Phil,although it is about 6-7 years old.

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commentor

Jan-28-13 2:56 PM

Paul sorry you are not writing anymore columns. As for today's column I think you are right on the money. Years back people were dirt poor and fed their children and worked but then they had pride. The ingredient missing today. As for DCronig did you go to school? Your English is atrocious.

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Christopher

Jan-28-13 4:42 PM

Dcronlg,aren't numbers and statistics great? Welfare is "only" 12% of the Federal budget. That's 12% of how many Trillion dollars? That's a LOT of money. I didn't ask if single mom's were "having fun". But since they got pregnant on their own in spite of more free birth control than anyone can imagine, I'd say that's not my problem, especially the 2nd or 3rd time! What other meaningless statistics would you like to throw out there? 56-80% of the school budget is paid for? Which is it? Wide disparity there, and guess what? Again, it's meaningless if what's left is UNAFFORDABLE, which it is for way too many on fixed incomes, likie my mother and other elderly people. And it changes nothing on the effects of UNFUNDED MANDATES on local schools. If people on Welfare get foodstamps, why can't they afford a bagged lunch? Peanut butter or cheese sandwiches and an apple are nourishing enough, and cheap as all get out. Liberal policies in schools are bankrupting them. Who's

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Dcronlg

Jan-28-13 5:15 PM

The sad truth is all those elderly folks you mention are receiving far more in social security and medicare than they ever paid for, and yet I dont hear you complaining about them. I dont hear you complaining about obese folks, or smokers, etc who receive all sorts of government medical treatment and disability -- you just pick on welfare moms having too many babies and free school lunches. You are judging who is more worthy for social programs, I don't begin to presume.

I will judge and say we don't need Military spending more than the top 57 countries combined. We don't need corporate welfare, etc.

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MikeDavis

Jan-28-13 5:50 PM

Wow, nicely said Paul. And Judeye if you believe that the students of today are smarter. Look around on the web and find the eighth grade test for students from the mid-1800's then tell me these children are getting a better education. The graduation rate is abysmal for a country with the resources thrown at the educational system. And I could not agree more with Paul on the college commentary. High school? I was a solid C student. A BS degree is now just what it sounds like. I had a 4.0 average in college and was on the Dean's list every semester. I certainly do not think I somehow magically got smarter with age. AND here comes DC...where do you think the federal government gets that percentage of school costs they pay? From the school fairy? And you claim to be an economist? I hope you have someone who does your taxes or you have a date with the IRS coming up.

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MikeDavis

Jan-28-13 5:53 PM

Dang it DC I think there is one thing we really don't need in America and that is...DC! Ironic, isn't it?

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Christopher

Jan-28-13 6:22 PM

Dcronlg, once again, you're totally twisting the issue. The elderly WORKED for their benefits!!! So how does that possibly compare to those who have never worked for anything? I'm not picking on anyone, I'm pointing out facts. I clearly said food, clothing and housing should be provided to the poor. But you mentioned smokers and obese people. Guess who has the highest rate of smoking? The poor! That's a statistic you can look up. How about obese poor people? How does THAT happen if they're starving? I have taken MANY shots at "Corporate Welfare", as you call it, and the waste in the Military, which I also served in so have some firsthand knowledge of. But to you, I'm just ignorant because for once I went after some of your sacred cows. Was I as ignorant when I went after Corporate Welfare and Military waste? Since we agree on that, what does that say about YOU!?

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Christopher

Jan-28-13 6:27 PM

AQs for schools, my understanding from MANY sources is that almost 50% of incoming college Freshman need remedial work in English and Math. Cpmpare that to 30-40 years ago. Sorry, what are called "Advance classes" today, used to be standard English years ago. do agree that the top students get way more attention than the middle. The bottom students also eat up HUGE resources with little results. Many seriously disabled students belong in the Resource center, NOT school. But to say schools haven't eased requirements and standards over the years is ridiculous. I know what I had to do in school, and what my kids did. I have one still in school. When your high school students homework involves colored pencils and poster board, something is wrong.

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concerned

Jan-28-13 6:59 PM

I don't often agree with you but you have hit this one square on the head! This shows we need a third strong political party that represents the middle working class it would also force the extreme left and right to move closer together in their thinking!

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Christopher

Jan-28-13 7:27 PM

It may have been missed by many, but my main point in most of my columns was to poke at the extremes of both parties, to at least try to find some sort of middle ground. I tried to show how bureaucracies feed themselves and become self sustaining. I've pointed the finger at both political parties, and tried to show where both parties are equally at fault for our country's problems. Judging from the large majority of comments made to me in person and via Emails and the phone, I was largely successful. Yep, I ticked off more than a few in the process, but that's what a "burr under the saddle" is supposed to do. So, once again, this is my last column, but I'll be around in other ways.

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MarciaB

Jan-28-13 8:19 PM

We have enjoyed reading your columns. Sometimes we disagreed, but more often we agreed with you. We'll miss your input and your "burr under the saddle" approach to writing.

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localresident

Jan-29-13 9:02 AM

Yeah, how IS it possible that the poor have so many smokers? Especially with a pack of cigarettes hovering around $10/each.

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FredoniaFred

Jan-29-13 10:24 AM

It's called priorities localresident. If a "poor ' person had the $200 or so per week spent on cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets etc. to spend on housing, food and clothing, their life would be much "richer".

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SmallTownSmallMind

Jan-29-13 9:45 PM

I, for one, am going to miss Mr. Christopher's columns. He is probably the most intelligent, logical, and thought-provoking writer this paper puts forth, and I am including Mr. Augustino (Steiner's son). No writer ever gets the responses that Paul gets, and I always looked forward to reading his pieces as well as the responses he evokes. That is the true test of an opinion writer. Come on Observer get this guy back; he does the job better than any of your staff. It feels like Randall Patrick McMurphy has left the nest, and we didn't even get to have the party. Very sad.

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localresident

Jan-29-13 9:50 PM

Dcronig, that's actually a very good idea. Let's stop treating the obese and smokers, and the problem will solve itself. Why are we continuing to be enablers?

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