Worth so much

Your lead headline in the July 21 Post and Courier is supremely offensive: “Are these school leaders worth it?” What of those who take home many times as much? What of entertainers, professional athletes, pop-music “artists,” TV personalities and movie actors? What of bankers and others who in recent years have greedily slopped at the public trough? What of CEOs and other business administrators whose bonuses —never mind their salaries — are often many times greater than what our school leaders earn? Are they “worth it”? Would you even dare to ask?

Unlike those people, in our school leaders’ hands are the futures of all our future.

Are our children “worth it”? To what depraved depths must we have sunk, that we need seriously to ask such a question.

Sam Watson

Pinckney Street

McClellanville

Free market

Maybe I am just economically illiterate, but I have never understood why it is necessary to have a “certificate of need” to justify building a hospital.

As I understand it, in business the more competition there is, the lower the cost for the consumer. I do remember reading about supply and demand way back in school. I am even old enough to remember that when there was a single grocery store in town (my parents owned that store), things cost more than they cost when the A&P opened on the far end of Broadway. Not long after that another grocery store opened and groceries got even cheaper.

So why does it make sense to control the number of hospital beds in a community? Aren’t hospitals a business? If there are 1,000 people in a town and a single hospital has 10 beds and two doctors, they pretty much have control of what the patients pay, don’t they? Let’s say that 12 people in town need hospitalization. How much is a hospital bed worth?

If another hospital opens in that town with 10 more beds and two more doctors, there are still 12 people in town needing hospitalization. Would all 20 beds be worth the same? Or, assuming quality of care is equal, would the value of each bed be less, thus costing the patient less?

Are government regulators telling us we aren’t smart enough to determine which doctor or hospital we feel most comfortable with? Or are regulators there to make sure the cost of medical care stays non-competitive?

Have I hit on one of the key reasons medical costs are going through the ceiling these days? Government regulation.

Lowell Knouff

Elaine Street

Johns Island

Sign needed

A July 13 letter was about too many signs in Mount Pleasant. I have requested a sign to the airport after you follow the exit off I-526 west.

My visitor followed the exit, came to the cross-street and didn’t see a sign for the airport. He went straight and was back on I-526.

Carol O’Connor

Cypress Pointe Drive

Mount Pleasant

An unfair fight

I came of age in the 1950s. When occasional fights happened, both parties generally had made a decision to fight, whatever the reason. Someone generally came out more battered than the other, and that was the end of it.

Only one person in the massively publicized Florida courtroom actually knows what happened, and he did not testify. But after being warned not to follow Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman elected to do just that; obviously a fight ensued, with testimony indicating George Zimmerman was getting the worst of it.

The difference in this fight from the fights I knew was that George Zimmerman carried a gun and used it. So instead of one party being banged up as in the old days, one party was dead.

The burning question for me is, “Would George Zimmerman have elected to leave his car and follow Trayvon Martin if he did not have a gun?”

A gun can more than compensate for pugilistic inadequacies, but I believe there is a substantial cost to society if that concept gains traction.

Certainly the verdict will not encourage future pugilistically challenged George Zimmermans to discard their guns. Regardless of how one feels about the verdict, we should all ponder if this is the kind of society we want to create.

Richard H. Gross

Oak Marsh Drive

Mount Pleasant

Sing it right

For the life of me I don’t understand why people brutalize the singing of our national anthem just before the big game or event. In anticipation of the singing I get all fired up, patriotic and feeling good about my country. Then boom, there is a rendition of the anthem like nobody has ever heard.

The perfect example was baseball’s All-Star game. I understand certain singing competition shows emphasize making a song your own. But our national anthem?

Please just sing the song as it was written and quit trying to make a name for yourself at the expense of what’s so dear to the hearts of so many.

Jerry Signorelli

Rosedown Point

Mount Pleasant

Taxing jobs

The recent feature on McCormick County’s bleak economic picture was interesting. However, it is not up to politicians to bring jobs to a community. Pro-growth tax policy creates the conditions to encourage entrepreneurs to invest in a community.

Economist Art Laffer has a study showing that 62 percent of all jobs created during the period from 2002-2012 were in the nine zero income tax states.

Passing the S.C. FairTax Act (H-3116/S-185), which replaces our state income tax with a broad-based sales tax, would make South Carolina a destination for entrepreneurs and successful retirees.

We also have a state-mandated 10.5 percent assessment ratio on industrial property and equipment, the highest in America. Allowing counties like McCormick to set their own assessment ratios would create the environment in which entrepreneurs would be more likely to invest in manufacturing and new machinery.

With McCormick being a border county, these pro-growth tax policies would have an immediate impact, as businesses and families from Georgia would cross the Savannah River in search of a better tax environment.

JOHN STEINBERGER

Edinburgh Road

Charleston

John Steinberger is chairman of the Charleston County Republican Party and chairman of S.C. FairTax.

Hyped reports

In response to a July 8 letter titled “Weather overkill”: I worked for three different commercial television stations plus free-lanced for ABC News in New York for 40 years.

All of them had the same concept of “We’re having weather, and we’re all going to die. Film at 11.”

If you want news and information, read your newspaper or listen to National Public Radio. If you want to be entertained or amused, watch TV.

Stephen Claeys

N. Highway 17

Mount Pleasant

Sorkin’s insights

Aaron Sorkin just keeps hitting home runs. After writing screenplays for “The Social Network,” “Moneyball,” “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “A Few Good Men,” and “The West Wing,” Wilson’s latest effort, “The Newsroom,” is another outstanding TV series. The central subject has to do with the decline of truth in our news media. I like it because it focuses on one of my pet peeves: that all truth is just a matter of opinion. Once you have convinced people of this, then the truth has no value whatsoever.

Both our politicians and our media have fallen victims to this kind of thinking, and it is major reason for American decline. We are no longer truth seekers.

William A. Johnson

Serotina Court

Mount Pleasant

Faithful members

In response to a July 11 letter regarding the current situation in the Episcopal Church, the writer states: “Those in the St. Stephen area have chosen a long commute to a different parish.” If he is referring to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in St. Stephen, as a member of that church, I would like to correct him. No one has left as a result of the recent “split” and the same parishioners attend faithfully each Sunday.

Scottie Hoffman

Pitt Street

Charleston