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Letters to the Editor: We’re destroying ourselves with inequality. Here’s how we start saving society

A protester drives by with a sign saying "No wages, no rent."
A protester drives by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s house on March 29, 2020, as part of a demonstration for an eviction moratorium during the pandemic.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It seems that learning history leads merely to repeating it. Do societies crumble when the rights to enjoy life are shared by those who do their best to contribute? I think not. (“The recall circus has managed to ignore staggering crisis ripping apart California,” column, Sept. 11)

President John F. Kennedy said it best when he suggested that we should ask what we can do for our country. In the intervening 60 years, we have turned inward and instead asked what we can do for ourselves.

It will take at least that long to repair the damage we have created. If we don’t start serious work on education, climate change, inequality and a host of other problems, we will continue to tilt at windmills, and our democracy will go the way of past civilizations.

Will our experiment in democracy work? Not if we lose confidence in one another. Let’s start repairing our society by respecting those who differ. It might give us hope.

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Arthur Kraus, Venice

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To the editor: While I appreciate Steve Lopez’s column on the intractability of income inequality and the failure of either major political party to address this issue and its associated ills, it might be helpful to read more about what does work.

Are there cities that have successfully addressed homelessness and housing? Are there no blue-collar jobs that pay a living wage left anywhere in California?

It is true that the days of walking out of high school and into a good-paying job are over, but skilled trade jobs do seem to be available. Are there no successful public-private programs that can match people to jobs with some government-funded training?

Finally, California, with the best of intentions, has enacted some of the nation’s most stringent environmental laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act. However, CEQA and other regulations can present impossibly expensive and time-consuming minefields to potential employers and builders.

Is there no way to streamline our environmental laws without compromising our quality of life? There must be.

California has the largest economy in the nation, which means something must be working in this state. Please show us what does work.

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Gordon Tomaske, San Gabriel


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