Interesting juxtaposition of headlines inside last Sunday’s Business section [March 28]: “Parents are teaching value of saving” and “Retailers cheer teen spending revival.” Tellingly, the spending headline was larger and the story longer than the saving headline and story. I guess the recession wasn’t deep enough to teach lasting lessons.
The Business front March 28 must have confused young people with its mixed messages. On the one hand, they’re encouraged to save for a rainy day (sound advice), as the older generation recalled their own financial mistakes: “Savings is topic of ‘the talk.’ ” On the other hand, teens who live to shop are prominently profiled in “Look who’s shopping.”
Hopefully, young people can learn to strike a balance between the two.
Shedding tears over tanning tax
Re: “Bronzed set seeing red over tan tax,” March 27:
It’s comforting to know that if my daughter is fortunate enough to be accepted by a sorority at UCLA, there is at least one responsible adult looking out for her best interests.
How lucky can a parent be when the sorority house mom, on a regular basis, not only overexposes herself to dangerous UV rays by tanning in a sun bed but also supports her charges in the same practice?
Who says today’s college students are apathetic or indifferent to the plight of the less fortunate? One only need read the sorority house mother’s concerns about the detrimental impact of the new tanning tax on her impoverished charges to realize that they really care about what really matters. Forget the drastic cuts to education funding or the steep increases in student fees; what really matters is that this group of committed students maintain their tans.
Given the dire consequences, not only should the federal government immediately exempt them from the tax, but perhaps it can also provide grants or subsidies.
Holy cow, a 10% healthcare tax on tanning salons because they don’t have the lobbyist clout and cash of cosmetic surgeons! I weep for the pale maidens and madams (and I hope only a few men).
A salon-tanned UCLA sorority mother feels sorry for her “girls” who tan while living “on tight budgets.” Hey, mom, this might be a good opportunity to teach the “girls” about vanity and thrift, and even to tell them about the sun as a free source of their cancerous UVs.
I hate new taxes. I love UCLA. I just wish that the house mom at Gamma Phi Beta would worry more about the young women’s education and college life than the possibility that her girls may not be able to afford tanning because they are on a tight budget.
Their budget is not tight if they can afford regular tanning -- tax or no tax.
U.S. vs. China on clean energy
Re: “China takes clean lead,” March 25:
The U.S. is clearly falling behind in clean energy (wind and solar). That means we’re losing significant innovation, technology and economic opportunity to others, not to mention fouling our own nest.
The question is, why? Lack of consistent national policy and incentives is one big reason, but the elephant in the room is our oil and coal industries. We are being choked by their mega profits while much of the rest of the world is sprinting ahead.
As a nation, we must ask ourselves: Are we just about short-term profits for the few? Or do we aspire to greater things for all?
The story says “China overtook the United States for the first time last year in the race to invest” in clean energy -- as if Americans should be alarmed. They shouldn’t. The prize for this “race” is wasted money, which means that the winner is actually a loser.
That’s because the Chinese clean-energy industry, like the U.S. clean-energy industry, is wholly a creation of government, and government-created industries are doomed to failure.
Energy policy analyst
On cutting pay for executives
Re: “Pay czar hits execs in their wallets,” March 24:
I see that President Obama’s “pay czar” plans to “slash” executive salaries of bailed-out corporations by a whopping 15%.
Those poor corporate executives might have to resort to having the silver polished in one of their mansions only once a week, instead of daily.
Yes sir, economic justice, one-tenth of a cent at a time.
Business welcomes your letters. Write to Letters to the Business Editor, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep letters brief and include your address, phone number, and the headline and date of the article to which you are referring.