News From Terre Haute, Indiana


December 23, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 23, 2012


Next election not soon enough

As Michigan follows Indiana and makes right-to-work (for less) the new standard for the labor force, Gov. Snyder of Michigan is saying “look at Indiana” and something about jobs pouring into our state. I don’t know where he got the information on jobs pouring into Indiana but I don’t think his information is completely correct.

I am still waiting to see the thousands of jobs that were promised to us when this bill became law in Indiana. Businesses that are expanding already had the plans in the works before this disgusting law was passed.

The governor kept saying it would improve our atmosphere to attract new companies because they wouldn’t be bothered by that pesky need to pay good wages or provide benefits because workers would be at the mercy of the company.

That is exactly what RTW laws do; they provide companies with a means to lower wages, reduce benefits (to none), remove safety requirements, do away with retirement plans, etc. The RTW law allows for union breaking while appearing to support the worker.

I think the people of Indiana are beginning to see just what this law is going to do for them. How with a new governor (Pence), the trend will continue to destroy the middle class. It has already begun by the passing of a state policy that removes requirements for teachers in our education system. The new superintendent of education will have her hands full because the new governor is out to make her job obsolete.

When you downgrade the education system, you dumb down the population, and thus make jobs with lower wages more attractive because the worker has neither the education nor the knowledge to expect more.

Just in the last weeks we have seen three businesses leave Terre Haute. The Fashion Bug left because of a corporation buying out its competition and then stripping it of its assets and selling off the rest.

Does this sound familiar? It is corporate raiding at its best.

The other two were restaurants that closed because of a lack of customers. It is plain and simple … people can’t afford to eat out. The economic condition of the country is slowly improving but Indiana is always the last to feel any improvement. Don’t be fooled by the rebate that is coming to taxpayers in the form of a refund on your income tax. That money isn’t because of any reduction in spending; it is due to a bookkeeping error.

I have often wondered how the voters of Indiana could elect a superintendent of education that is opposed to the educational reforms that “Our Man Mitch” shoved down our throats and then turn around and elect another Republican that will continue the current assault on the middle class and education.

Gov. Pence has chosen to not participate in the Affordable Care Act. Why? He says it would bankrupt Indiana but he forgets to mention that the federal government is going to co-fund any costs. Again the citizens of Indiana are losing out.

Are we so blind that we do not see that Gov.-elect Pence will continue to dismantle public education and there is only one lone woman to oppose him. Do you really think that Pence will pay attention to the voice of the citizens of Indiana in regard to the educational policies of the GOP? The very idea that outgoing Gov. Daniels may re-emerge on the national political scene makes me shudder.

I don’t know what has happened to the GOP but its support of corporate greed (both locally and nationally) makes me anxious for the elections of 2014 and 2016. Maybe the citizens of Indiana will have seen the writing on the wall by then.

At least I hope so.

— Shirley A. Thomas


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