Letters: People should serve in our nation's armed forces and the Portland 'Art Tax' bill remains a proven failure
My father grew up in north Portland and graduated from Jefferson High before joining the Navy. Scheduled to be discharged six weeks prior to Pearl Harbor, he was issued stop gap orders from the War Department and assigned to the new aircraft carrier USS Wasp, CV-7, to ferry new aircraft to England and the island of Malta in support of the Battle of Britain.
While on survivor's leave after the Wasp was torpedoed southeast of Guadalcanal he met and married mother, who was a real "Rosie the Riveter," making bomb-bay doors for B-24 heavy bombers for Consolidated Aircraft.
One brother-in-law served in the Oregon National Guard, one's father was a Navy SEAL killed in action in Vietnam, and another is a disabled Marine staff sergeant who served during the '68 Tet Offensive in Vietnam.
As for me, I chose to enlist in the Army after graduation rather than go immediately on to college. I serviced OV-1D aircraft flying geological missions between the Olympic Peninsula and Mount Shasta and reconnaissance missions of the Russian fishing fleet off the coast from my home town of Bandon, Oregon, while stationed at Fort Lewis before a 19-month deployment to Vietnam with the 1st Cav Division. After being discharged from the Portland VA hospital, I reenlisted and went on to serve in Colorado, California, Georgia and was discharged after a 30-month deployment to Germany along the Iron Curtain.
This past election, people spoke of free college, health care, a minimum wage of $15 per hour and other free stuff. Has America become a land of free-loaders? I am now a disabled Army sergeant. Would it be too much to ask fellow citizens to contribute their fair share?
Change our nation's pharmaceutical policies
For blue collar workers like me — often deemed essential — the COVID-19 pandemic has implicated our work and personal lives with immense danger. Americans are rearing to get back to work, and this virus is truly testing our patience. I want things to return to normal just as much as the next person, but I know that isn't necessarily possible without the development and distribution of a vaccine for the virus.
I am certain that the solution to this issue will come by way of a vaccine, which is why our lawmakers must do all that they can to ensure that the biopharmaceutical industry is supported in their endeavors to make that become a reality. However, the administration has recently implemented a new health care policy, called the most favored nation policy, that infringes upon the free market that often results in the industry's successes — largely speaking, the American biopharmaceutical industry produces more breakthrough cures than any other country in the world. But the most favored nation policy stands to change that by circumventing the resources that biopharmaceutical researchers and scientists need to continue conducting their work.
The only way for us to get back to work is for Oregon's lawmakers to work on our behalf to bolster the biopharmaceutical industry in its efforts to develop a vaccine or cure for COVID-19. We need to preserve our free market, not hinder it.
City's 'Art Tax' bill remains proven failure
Once again I find myself riled upon receiving the annual Art Tax bill. Wondering how other Portlanders felt about it, I came across an article your paper ran last year. Indeed, it appears to have widespread disapproval of almost everyone, including the art community.
What surprised me was how many problems there were. None of them were on my radar. My problem is how egregiously regressive a tax it is. How ridiculous to use the federal poverty tax guideline, itself so utterly unrealistic for even the least costly state in the U.S. to live in! It's so outrageous! That alone is reason enough to send it back to the drawing board. I can't help but wonder just how stupid the authors of the legislation could be. I can't think of any other explanation.
A person who grosses more than $12,000 per year has to pay? Really?
I also came across the brutality of debt collectors the city sicced on people who didn't pay: Wow!
Is anything being done? It has been going on for years now.
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