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Your Views: Money spent by government takes away from private wealth
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I'm hopeful that my parents will leave me an inheritance. I'm doubtful, however, that I will be able to leave anything but ruinous debt to my own children, and this sickens me. It's not my personal finances that will cause them problems, but governments' appetite — at all levels.

Perhaps people who run for public office should be required to complete a course in basic economics before they can serve. I am very disturbed by the lack of understanding demonstrated by our public servants at both the national and the local level. Nationally we have a Congress who feels so compelled to "do something" that they will ignore the worse consequences of their action.

Every dollar redirected toward their "stimulus" plan is taken away from private investment and spending, which is the major driver of our economy, isn't it? If we don't gather this money through taxes, our only other option is to create "play money" that weakens our currency to the point that lenders will look elsewhere for investments. How many investors have looked at Zimbabwe lately?

Locally, we have people arguing that this is the time for another tax increase to "create" jobs by building unnecessary projects like a new municipal building. Again, every penny that goes to this spending is unavailable for spending on food, clothing, entertainment and whatever else people desire. We are not "stimulating" the economy by transferring wealth from one group to another; we are only stimulating the opportunity for corruption. Government jobs do not create new wealth — they only redistribute what real producers earn.

Our Constitution recognizes our God-given right to the "pursuit of happiness." Every dollar confiscated through taxes reduces the taxpayer's ability to pursue his dreams. Because of this, our government should be extremely cautious in its reach. Now is not the time to divert funds into government coffers for new projects — that money will go to better use in private pockets, whether it's saved or spent.

Vote "no" to SPLOST. When private citizens are short on money, they must find ways to economize or work harder to earn more. Since government doesn't "earn" money, it must do a better job of using the funds it already has.

Andrew Jobson
Gainesville

Schools should pursue multicultural emphasis
With all the cutbacks happening in the American economy, it is clear legislators are honing in on the most critical issues in which to budget the state's money. That being said, this letter is geared toward the need for continued funding of multicultural education programs in schools.

Schools today are more diverse than ever. In urban schools, especially, minorities often make up the majority percentage of the student body. This being the case, these students must be provided with educational opportunities that offer learning experiences as rich as the culture of the students themselves.

The first way to maximize multicultural education is through in-school assemblies. Students can gain greater respect for their culture and others if they are presented with these cultures in a positive and enriching setting. Assemblies can give students perspective on other cultures by being able to appropriately showcase the talents and messages that performers wish to communicate.

The second way is through the use of field trips. Often in schools with a high percentage of economically disadvantaged students, parents may not have the funds to support educational endeavors like field trips. Students should not be denied field trips because they are poor, so funding should not be compromised for multicultural programs in schools.

Field trips give students real world experiences to enjoy and appreciate. Teachers can use real world experiences to enrich the classroom curriculum. I have seen struggling students come back from a plays, the theatre, cooking classes, etc., and suddenly be able to write multiple pages on everything they witnessed.

Opportunities like these inspire children. When students learn to embrace the world around them, they will grow up to be better cultured and ultimately better citizens.

In today's ever-changing world, we cannot afford to cut back on multicultural opportunities for our children. I would like to challenge parents to become greater advocates for the urgency of such programs within your child's school. Maybe then, educators will see the importance to allocate adequate funding.

If the United States wants to continue to be a globally competitive country, we have to raise children who are globally aware of the world around them. This starts in the classroom.

Beth Kimsey
Gainesville

We do need to preserve South Hall area, history
I read with great interest the letter Phoebe Vickers wrote in Monday's Times. She really touched on a very good subject.

So much has changed in that area. The new pharmacy is going to be on what I remember to be the original Spout Springs. There were concrete well pipes there that you could see from the road before all the road work started. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Weatherford had lived there ever since I could remember.

I do wish and hope something can and will be done to preserve this area. After all, we all remember Mr. Pete Lawson and his Spout Spring Superette.

I do agree with Ms. Vickers. It breaks my heart to see our local history be destroyed and our memories lost for only those who lived there will remember these things.

Louise (Morris) McDowell
Flowery Branch

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