Remember who helped during last year's flooding
I am writing to your readers concerning the hurricane we experienced last August. There are three individuals I would like to personally thank.
I'd like to thank Congressman Chris Gibson. Before FEMA even arrived on the scene, Congressman Chris Gibson and his staff were on the ground assessing the situation and trying to get FEMA to move their behinds.
As for Sen. James Seward and Assemblyman Peter Lopez, they have been putting in 18-hour days along with their staff to work on getting things back to normal. I hate to single out anyone in particular but while dealing with his family's own displacement, Assemblyman Lopez was assessing people's problems in a district the size of Rhode Island. Currently he is still working to set things right.
FEMA did its little "dog and pony show" for the television cameras, then left. The three men I mentioned did not. They stood their ground and are working as hard as they can trying to make things right. It is my sincere hope that come the November elections that people remember what these three men are doing for their respective districts. Now more then ever we need experienced, qualified individuals such as Congressman Chris Gibson, Sen. Seward and Assemblyman Peter Lopez. With their help, along with the hundreds of volunteers who have helped out, we will come back bigger and stronger then ever.
Capitalism has run amok
When I was growing up, capitalism was a good thing. It built the railroads, automobile and steel industries that provided jobs, health care benefits and retirement plans for our citizens. It produced products in America that were the envy of the world.
Today it's a different story. At 71, I am no doubt the oldest Justin Bieber fan on the planet and I was looking forward to his upcoming "Believe" tour, which Ticketmaster said would cost me about $85 a ticket. A lot, to be sure, but we are talking the Biebs here.
I was ready at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, but when I went on Ticketmaster, it had already started a bidding war for the few remaining seats. Indeed, the entire tour sold out in one hour, and Madison Square Garden sold out in 30 seconds.
But did it really? Turns out my tickets were now available on the scalper sites for $170 each, and as I write this they are up to $250. And those are the cheap seats. Agencies selling these tickets will not lift a finger to produce the Bieber concert. No, they have simply gamed the system and will rake in the profits.
This is the model for our current capitalism. Take health care. I pay the exact same amount per month for both Medicare and a supplemental private insurance, yet Medicare provides me 80 percent of the coverage, and private insurance only 20 percent. Private insurance delivers one-fifth the care _ the rest of my premium goes to some CEO's account in the Cayman Islands.
American capitalism is no longer in the business of producing products and providing jobs. It is in the business of taking our money and keeping as much of it as possible. Think about this, come November.