Carrier deal is not so hot

Call it what you want, but it is still corporate welfare when you give Carrier $7 million over 10 years to save 800 jobs ("Trump takes campaign victory lap," Friday). That is $875 per year for each worker that taxpayers will foot the bill for. It only saves one of two manufacturing plants for Carrier employees.

President-elect Donald Trump is bragging about his great accomplishment to keep the jobs here. If this is our future, it is bleak. He should raise the minimum wage. A living wage would put more money back in the economy and reduce the need for overwhelmed social services for people to survive.

What happens when the next company wants to leave America?

|JoAnn Williams, Media, jwsewn@gmail.com

Universal health care would help

Donald Trump is doing a victory lap for saving several hundred jobs at Carrier. Carrier was going to move those jobs to Mexico to save money. Trump bribed Carrier with several million dollars in tax breaks to get them to stay in the United States. This tax handout - or should I say corporate welfare - will be paid by U.S taxpayers.

You know what would be a better way to save corporations money? Universal health care. Mexico provides some of its citizens with government-funded health care, as does every other industrialized country. That means corporations in those countries don't have to spend a dime on health insurance for their employees. Let's make U.S. corporations more competitive with Mexico and other countries by providing all of our citizens with universal health insurance.

Getting employers out of our health-care decisions will not only help their bottom line but will provide better health and job security for all Americans - a win-win for all.

|Glenn Gawinowicz, Oreland

Democrats miss the big picture

Signe Wilkinson's cartoon about the Democratic Party (Sunday) captured perfectly the conundrum the Democrats are facing. For far too long, Democrats have pandered to small, special interests, rather than thinking about what is best for the entire party (and the country). It's the reason so many traditional Democratic voters flocked to Donald Trump. Until the party understands that its traditional base is fed up with the pandering that exists, it will continue to give voices to Donald Trumps.

|Nick D'Orazio, Philadelphia, nickdorazio01@gmail.com

The party for nearly everyone

Signe Wilkinson's cartoon omitted some rather large elements of the Democratic Party. There should have been doors for:

the elderly, who benefit from Social Security and Medicare;

the poor, who benefit from Medicaid;

environmentalists, who care about global warming, which Donald Trump claims is a "hoax;"

the 98 percent of the population that opposes giving the top 2 percent an even larger share of the economic pie, which is what Trump's proposed tax cut and the repeal of the inheritance tax will do.

|Steven C. Greene, Philadelphia

Give teachers retroactive raises

Signe Wilkinson's cartoon about "retroactive pay hikes" for Philadelphia public school teachers was demeaning to all teachers who strive to be quality teachers.

My late wife, Cheryl, worked for years on graduate courses and earned an advanced degree three years ago to become a more-effective music teacher, her chosen career in Philadelphia's public schools. She was never compensated for the expense and energy she expended on her classes, since pay increases at that time were frozen.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan is absolutely correct when he insists on retroactive pay increases for those who give their all and go for years without any increase in their salary. I was frankly surprised that Wilkinson would find this principled stand a subject for ridicule.

|Jim Roebuck, Democratic chairman, Education Committee, state House of Representatives, Philadelphia, RepRoebuck@pahouse.net

Institute, expand taxes for kids

Testimony before Philadelphia City Council ("Council told city must aid teachers," Nov. 29) and an Inquirer report on the physical condition of city schools ("Lesson in loss," Nov. 22) described the poor conditions experienced by too many Philadelphia students. As an educator and a product of the city's schools, I find the extent and persistence of these conditions shocking.

Many students experience the absence of a permanent teacher, overcrowded classes, nonfunctioning and outdated technology, inadequate supplies and books, and teacher turnover prompted by these factors and others, including no wage growth for several years.

A new state formula for distributing financial aid to schools has provided Philadelphia and other strapped state communities with more resources, but this is not enough. Additional aid from the state is needed and new sources of revenue will likely be required. Legalizing and taxing marijuana sales and the expansion of gambling are undesirable options. Pennsylvania should impose a tax on gas extraction, extend the sales tax to more items, and make the state income tax a progressive one, with those with higher incomes paying more and others paying less.

|Gerald D. Klein, Elkins Park

Target straw-gun purchases

There was a News in Brief item (Friday) detailing the conviction and sentencing of a Delaware County man, James Cimabue, to a minimum five-year prison term for straw-buying and reselling five firearms, including two AK-47s, without a license.

Philadelphia-area residents owe a debt of gratitude to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan and his staff for successfully prosecuting Cimabue and other straw-purchasers. Straw-bought guns end up in the hands of those who cannot pass background checks and often seek guns for crime and violence.

But, what about gun retailers who sell repeatedly to straw-buyers such as Cimabue? The sale of guns to criminals begins with the small percentage of gun retailers willing to look the other way and sell to straw-buyers. Those gun dealers are as responsible as shooters for crime and gun violence and deserve the attention and contempt of the citizenry.

|Bryan Miller, executive director, Heeding God's Call to End Gun Violence, Philadelphia, infoheedinggodscall@gmail.com