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Your Views: Small businesses need help with health insurance
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In the partisan battles over health care, very little is mentioned over the plight of the entrepreneur. But coverage is a big problem for them.

As insurance is increasingly denied or made more expensive, fewer entrepreneurs risk going it alone in the insurance market trying to find cheap coverage for themselves and their employees. Yet small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy, accounting, by one reckoning, for nearly 70 percent of new jobs created, employing about half of all workers and responsible for more than their fare share of innovation.

Why, then, is there so little concern for entrepreneurs? Let’s hope that this silence is due to the fact that many just don’t understand the essential importance of entrepreneurs to our economy. (We might blame some of this lack of understanding on media that is not making these connections for us.)

But the silence may be a matter of something less innocent: It may be that many of us just don’t care about the good of something as abstract as the economy if that trumps concern for ourselves. I hope not. I hope we are all considering the greater good of our nation (and, also, the needs of the least of these.")

Let’s not shout down reform that could encourage innovation, economic vitality and global competitiveness, not to mention government solvency.

Robert Cuttino

Owners of multiple dogs rejected by area landlords
My fiancee and I have recently moved to Gainesville but had a very difficult time in finding an apartment due to the outrageous pet policies of nearly everyone we contacted with openings.

We recently adopted our third dog, a pit bull boxer mutt, from the Athens Area Humane Society. At the time all we thought about was how sad all of the dogs were and that most of them were scheduled to be euthanized, especially the pit bulls who made up at least 25 percent of the inmates.

Since then, we have realized that having three dogs might as well be the same as having been evicted from every place we have ever rented. We spoke with at least 20 landlords in the area who would not consider us despite five years of perfect rental records (including zero complaints for any reason) and receiving 100 percent of our security deposits back at every stop.

I completely understand the owners wish to protect their investments, but I really cannot understand why they believe these blanket assumptions of dog owners is helping them to do that. It seems fairly obvious to me that having a young child in the house is far more damaging to the property than having a well-trained dog, yet no one seems to care how many children a potential renter has or require a non-refundable fee of $300 per child.

I also found it ironic that many of the places we were turned away from were completely filthy and nearly unlivable without tearing up carpets and repainting walls.

Perhaps a wiser policy in a renters’ market would incorporate a little research into the rental history of a potential tenant, and not automatically disqualify an otherwise acceptable candidate because they have well behaved pets. Unfortunately though, it seems as if property owners would rather pay the rent themselves than rent to owners of multiple dogs.

Jeremy Densmore

Federal programs sound good, but hit taxpayers hard
he ethanol from corn program sounded good up front, but it raises the price of most foods, has virtually no impact on the environment and is causing more automobile engine repairs because of the water inherently in ethanol with unintended consequences.

Although all that is now apparent, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are doing nothing to stop it. They are just trying to give us more wonderful programs.

One of Barack Obama’s and the Democrats’ goals was providing more jobs. The Cash for Clunkers program sounded great until they ran out of money within days. Someone then noticed that many of the cars bought had only minimally better gas mileage and Toyota wound up selling the most cars. Meanwhile, we taxpayers are supporting GM and Chrysler. Well, nobody is perfect.

Medicare is virtually broke, Social Security will be paying out more than it receives in the near future, the post office is struggling, immigration is still a disaster, etc., and many of you guys want Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their fellow Democrats to provide your health care. Congress, however, is skeptical enough of their program that they exempted themselves from it.

Meanwhile Pelosi calls the insurance industry evil. Actually Ms. Pelosi, I think my insurance company is less evil than you, in a respectful way of course. I hope you are enjoying your raise.

Mike McConnell

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