Letters to the Editor

12/19 What you’re saying: Tony Madejczyk, Leigh Bordley, and Colin Barnett

Losing net neutrality

So, I guess everyone’s wondering, “just how much is net neutrality worth to a Republican congressman from North Carolina, anyway?”

Well, let’s look at the figures released by Vice News recently. These are dollar amounts taken in from the telecom industry.

To Walter Jones, it’s $72,800. Mark Walker reeled in $35,750. David Rouzer roused up $34,300. Mark Meadows is alone in his field, getting a mere $14,500. Ted Budd is no friend of mine, he is on the take for $15,500. Virginia Foxx is one foxy lady, with a whopping $115,700 to put in her purse. George Holding is holding the internet bag for $97,750.

And Richard Hudson is no fool, he got $136,750 to support the end of net neutrality. I guess among all these North Carolina congressman, he was the hold out?

So when your favorite website isn’t loading, or if you’re an entrepreneur with a great idea that can’t be seen because of Verizon or Spectrum – thank these guys (and gal!) for giving a green light to the FCC to lose our net neutrality protections. If you don’t have money to fight the digital big boys, you ain’t got a website worth you-know-what.

Are U.S. senators above such behavior? I doubt it. And since both Tillis and Burr are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, I gather by their silence they support this digital heist of our bandwidth. See you election day!

Tony Madejczyk

Durham

On the move for LEAP

Over 200 people came out on a Saturday morning for the annual Jingle Bell LEAP 5K fun run! Babies in strollers joined adults walking and running (even “sLEAPers”) to support the Latino Educational Achievement Partnership (LEAP). LEAP operates Durham’s first and only dual-language pre-K programs (Nuestra Escuelita and the EDCI/LEAP Academy) as well as a tutoring program for school-aged children.

The fastest overall runner was Kevin Healy (18:32:4) and the fastest woman was Maggie Healy (20:17:1). Teams including Girls on the Run and Trail Mix competed for largest team; the Durham Pals won and Be the Village placed second.

For more information about LEAP, please visit durhamleap.org or durhamleap on facebook.

Leigh Bordley

Executive director

Real tax reform hardly radical

Pundits are searching for ways to make our tax code fairer and more reflective of our social incentives and burdens. In this regard, there is a growing interest in a tax on meat, eggs, and dairy products designed to curb the self-destructive health impacts of their consumption and to effectively compensate society for the associated devastating environmental impacts.

The concept is hardly radical. We already pay similar taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. A number of states have or are considering imposing taxes on soft drinks and other junk foods.

I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury. National medical costs of dealing with our obesity epidemic, associated with consumption of meat, dairy, and sugars, are estimated at $190 billion. Eliminating subsidies for these products, as well as judicious taxation to reduce their use and recoup public costs should be supported by health advocates and fiscal conservatives alike.

Benjamin Franklin claimed that “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Ironically, death can be deferred substantially by taxing products that make us sick.

The revenue would reimburse the Medicare and Medicaid programs for treating victims of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic killer diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal products. It would pay for restoration of waterways and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these items.

Colin Barnett

Chapel Hill

What you’re saying

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