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Monday, Feb. 18, 2002

By Staff
Not surprised at education cuts
To the editor:
Front page news Feb. 14, 2002, reported by The Meridian Star, "Education hard hit by budget cuts." I wonder why this should be a surprise to anyone. This did not happen because of Sept. 11 and did not happen over a short period of time.
Did any of our state officials ever question the long term effect of U.S. trade policies? This is a direct result of trade that exports our jobs to other countries while receiving little in return.
Many years ago, labor intensive jobs came to the South seeking cheaper labor. This transaction was helped by the government wanting to balance agriculture with manufacturing. Today our jobs are being lost because our government has used textile and apparel jobs to buy world peace. Textile and apparel manufacturing in America is almost gone and now other industries built around apparel assembly is being lost. An example is Burlington.
Our elected officials both state and federal know why we have this shortfall of tax and it is a direct result of world trade and NAFTA. They should have known states that have textile and also many other labor intensive jobs would be the states hit very hard by these trade policies. Now it has hit home and is tearing down our education system.
Be advised, there is no good news to come. Many plants are already slated to close in the first quarter of this year and many more will follow.
Our elected officials have supported policies that are now hurting all of us, even our children, and still they are too quiet.
Ron Posey
Passenger rail: Time to even the score
To the editor:
Your staff needs to do considerably more research on the Amtrak subject. Riders in the Northeast Corridor do not generate a profit of $20 each. Amtrak does not charge the staggering $600 million annual cost of the NEC infrastructure to these trains as revealed by Gil Carmichael's Reform Council, which has cut to the core of the cancer.
Neither does the inordinate cost of the long-distance trains reach the alleged $100 to $300 per rider. This is a result of a fully allocated cost system that lumps all corporate expenses together and assigns them out to all routes ignoring actual costs. All costs, including track leases to the freight railroads, are charged to the interstate trains.
Regional rail corridors should be funded with competitive discretionary federal grants supplementing local funding. The interstate system should be fully federally funded.
For more information check the Website of the United Rail Passenger Alliance at http://www.unitedrail.org
M.D. Monaghan
Member, Board of Directors
Dallas Area Rapid Transit
Garland, Texas
via e-mail