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Obamacare mandate beats paying for uninsured

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Updated: August 10, 2012 6:15AM

In his comments about a “Creeping Obama­care tax” in the July 5 Chicago Sun-Times, Jacob Sullum signals a pernicious value system. He worries that Congress could use the recent Supreme Court ruling to force Americans to “buy vegetables.”

He ignores the possibility that Congress might use the taxing power to force Americans who oppose needless foreign adventures to pay for them nonetheless, or to force struggling taxpayers to bail out greedy, incompetent or ignorant millionaire bankers.

By implication he endorses the existing socialistic system where freeloaders get health care, with the costs being transferred to the insured who are forced to pay higher premiums, and/or to taxpayers.

Mandates for health and individual responsibility seem vastly superior to the “galloping costs” of needless wars and the continued mandate forced upon the insured and taxpayers to bail out the uninsured.

Lester Lindley, Libertyville

Fight gunfire with gunfire

Chicago has a better option than hiring criminals at $1 million [“Cops, CeaseFire make deal,” June 27]. They can hire vets of color who have returned home. They are trained and should be given a permit for conceal and carry for a 9mm in the high-shooting areas. When those shooters come by in cars, they can shoot the driver between the eyes. When these gang-bangers are shot back at you will see the violence stop. They could also arm some residents with permits after a little gun training.

What Chicago does not realize is that it’s only the bad guys who have the guns. Guns give them all the power to scare and intimidate the neighborhoods. Gangs are nothing without weapons. They really are a bunch of cowardly weaklings who would not do well without a gun.

Sharon Peters, Elmhurst

Colleges can improve access, fix costs

The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s June 19 column, “Not everyone has fair chance at success” makes the crucial point that the promise of opportunity — the stuff of the American dream — entails, at a minimum, equal access to health care and education.

As a faculty member and senior administrator in higher education, and now president of Shimer College on the IIT campus in Bronzeville, I can attest to the uneven access to and preparation for college students face in growing numbers.

Although liberal arts colleges serve smaller populations than do larger public institutions, we can be a valuable resource for our communities. We have the flexibility as institutions to develop and implement new ways of improving access and fixing costs. And we have the responsibility. I call on other liberal arts colleges in the Chicago area and across the country to join Shimer College in this effort.

Susan Henking, Douglas

Don’t let student loan debt kill American dream

They say the American Dream is dead, or it’s merely in danger of being swallowed up by the lack of opportunity in the land of opportunity. I don’t know if this is the case. It definitely seems like there’s still opportunity out there, but maybe the path is a little narrower than it’s been for past generations.

Most of us in Generation Y are bogged down right now by student loan debt because universities are no longer institutions of higher learning but businesses more concerned with profit margin than educating tomorrow’s leaders. This issue, student loan debt, along with a depressing job market that squeezes graduates with expectations of having three to five years of experience upon graduation, has led many to question whether this so called American Dream still exists.

Well, it does, the light at the end of the tunnel is still there, flickering it may be, it’s just a little further away than we’re used to seeing or dealing with. We should not let these temporary issues keep us from living the life we desire though. We can still get married and have a child/or children. Our parents did it, and their parents before them, in even tougher times. It’s never been easy raising a family and supporting every need that comes with that responsibility, but our parents always found a way to make it happen and there’s no reason why we should ever let a number connected with the cost of a college education affect whether you would want to marry someone or not.

In the end, this all seems like nothing more than adversity. And Generation Y is no different than the baby boomers or those before them, not immune to a little adversity on their way to the American Dream. We shouldn’t use student loan debt, or an increasingly difficult job market, as an excuse for a way out. The American Dream is still vibrant, and we all control our own destiny and our own path to this elusive dream.

Ervin M. Olson, Oak Lawn

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