Too many laws
I just read your Nov. 25 lead article about a growing movement to ban the “have you ever been convicted of a crime” box from employment applications, since a third of working adults have a criminal record that makes it hard to get a job. I believe that this is a feel-good initiative that will penalize small businesses and not address the underlying problem, which is that the “land of the free” has way, way too many laws.
There are over 2 million people in America’s federal and state prisons, the highest number of prisoners of any country in the world. The major cause of this deplorable situation is too many laws and regulations carrying with them criminal penalties, such as the “war on drugs,” “three strikes you’re out,” mandatory minimal sentences, and other “tough on crime” decrees passed by politicians who manipulate people’s fear to get elected.
The solution to this problem is to repeal laws and regulations, staring with the racist drug laws. More and more states are beginning to recognize that imprisoning drug users does not help either them or society, and are legalizing drugs, starting with marijuana. This will reduce the number of people with criminal records because of drugs, but also related crimes such as robberies to get money to buy drugs at black market prices.
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Don’t pass one more law to fix the problems caused by other laws; repeal the laws.
Leaving my home
Regarding editor Mark Schultz’s column “A modernist moment in a changing Durham neighborhood” (Nov. 22)
I agree that affordable housing is a need in Durham, and not just in the form of government-maintained units.
The gentrification and building craze has raised prices such that we had to move out of Durham – my hometown – in order to find a reasonably priced place.
I love our new house, but leaving my home broke my heart. If gentrification doesn’t slow, it at least needs to include more reasonably priced development instead of creating this “be rich or be poor –nothing in between” market.
This is an impressive project that navigated many regulatory hurdles that make housing more expensive to develop. Kudos to Adam Dickinson and his partners!
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