Positive potential

What a waste of a perfect resource. I am referring to the old cement factory building at Port Royal. I see the potential for the building to house retail businesses related to water sports. They would flourish selling kayaks, paddle boards, sail boards, etc.

This building could also serve as a winter training facility for northern schools that now send students to Florida to perfect their rowing techniques. If we could "short stop" just one school, think about how many support people would come to our hotels, restaurants and retail stores in Beaufort and Port Royal.

In addition, the building would serve the citizens of Port Royal and Beaufort to meet needs yet undiscovered.

I urge the South Carolina State Ports Authority to consider selling this facility to a municipality or an individual for development as soon as possible.

Bill Evans

Lucy Creek Drive

Beaufort

Power plays

Millions of people have been shoved into the abyss of the working poor. But our soulless corporate and political elite tell us to get used to it. America's many students and families are laying out big bucks for ever-rising student tuition and fees.

Most schools are run by extravagantly paid CEOs (cloaked with the mere benign title of "president") who have never taught, have no personal ties to the institution, feel no need to listen to the faculty and are most eager to please corporate donors and wealthy benefactors.

They enhance their power with lawyers, lobbyists, public relations flacks and alumni liaisons.

They become the juggernauts (movement that crushes whatever is in their path).

Where does the College of Charleston stand?

C.E. Rapp

Country Manor Drive

Mount Pleasant

Core confusion

A recent letter writer asked that school officials who favor the Common Core "should agree to have their paychecks calculated using Common Core math."

I wonder which Common Core math standard the writer was referring to.

Could it be the grade one math standard which requires a student to "represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction; understand and apply properties of operations and the relationship between addition and subtraction; add and subtract within 20; work with addition and subtraction equations"?

Could it be the grade five math standard which requires a student to "graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems; classify two-dimensional figures into categories based on their properties"?

Or perhaps the high school math standard which requires a student to "understand solving equations as a process of reasoning and explain the reasoning; solve equations and inequalities in one variable; solve systems of equations; represent and solve equations and inequalities graphically"?

Then of course there are the mathematical practices that apply to all grade levels, requiring students to "make sense of problems and persevere in solving them; reason abstractly and quantitatively; construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others; model with mathematics; use appropriate tools strategically; attend to precision; look for and make use of structure; and look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning."

I was confused about the reference to Common Core math and paychecks until it dawned on me that if our children were given the opportunity to learn math under the Common Core standards they not only would be able to calculate the paychecks of their teachers but could look forward to high-paying jobs that require good math skills and analytical thinking.

Richard HernandeZ Doctor of Public Health

Fairbury Drive

Goose Creek

Wage realities

President Obama claims that raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 will elevate opportunities for the poor. He is wrong. Raising the minimum wage will limit the opportunities and incomes of the very groups of workers he claims to want to help.

Consider the newspaper business.

What do you predict the result would be of a 40 percent increase in the price of the newspaper?

I predict sales would fall.

Unskilled laborers, selling their services in the labor market, are no different. Under the president's plan, opportunities will diminish for them. They will be priced out of the labor market.

Employers are consumers of labor. Their decision processes are not particularly different from those of ordinary consumers. As the price of something goes up, consumers search for substitutes. They conserve where they can.

The incentives for employers are the same. When the cost of unskilled labor goes up, they will search for substitutes. There are many.

Employers will choose more costly, but now relatively cheaper, automated processes. They will invest more in labor-saving machinery. Skilled workers will become substitutes for unskilled workers, since they require much less training and are more productive.

Additionally, monetary wages are not the only way that workers are compensated. When higher monetary wages are mandated, employers will search for other ways to reduce labor costs.

These will likely include less flexible working hours for unskilled workers, less on-the-job training and quicker termination when a worker's performance is not perfect.

President Obama naively assumes employers have no options. He assumes they will continue to employ the same number of unskilled workers as before. Some lucky workers will keep their jobs at the higher wage, at least until substitutes can be found. But many more will be priced out of the market.

If you really want to help unskilled workers, help them acquire marketable skills. Don't make it more difficult for them to find work.

Arnold Hite, Ph.D.

Nature View Circle

Johns Island

Tainted tune

One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite singers is ruined forever.

The title of T-Rav's reality show, "Southern Charm," probably came from a line in Miranda Lambert's song "Only Prettier":

"Well, I've been saved by the grace of Southern charm."

The phrase hardly fits the reality show. Miranda and co-writer Natalie Hemby get the last word in another line of the song:

"Bless your heart."

Real Southerners know what that means.

Robert P. Stockton

Montagu Court

Charleston

Dereliction of duty

If in fact it is the law that the Senate must pass a budget, why don't we place the criminals who block the debate in jail where they belong?

I am personally dumbfounded that the law requires Congress to do many things, but when it doesn't no punishment is administered. Every felon in America should be jealous.

Larry Wiessmann

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

Distant perils

Benghazi, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada, Vietnam, Korea, etc., I could go on and on about our involvement in strife throughout the world.

When Americans are sent or volunteer to go into a war situation they all go knowing they may be injured or worse, be killed. That is the price we pay as the free world's police force.

Like it or not, we are on their soil and, mind you, many don't like it. If the roles were reversed the Second Amendment would be alive and well, and we would defend our country.

Now politicians need to get off the blame train and concentrate on issues like oil dependency, education, immigration and infrastructure. These are the wars we need to worry about.

Please stop whining.

Robert E. Lane

Knottingham Drive

Goose Creek