Keep Talking About Tax Cuts for the Rich
Thank you for having the courage to take on this brand of demagoguery ("The rich deserve a tax break, too," Editorials, Mar. 8). I'm not against paying my fair share (whatever that is), but I'm really tired of being painted the villain simply because I've enjoyed some measure of success in life.
The liberal-vs.-conservative tax argument is fundamentally about the steepness of the progressivity curve. If voices like yours lead to an honest debate on that point, it will be progress.
Kenneth J. Artingstall
Glendale, Calif.Return to top
Does Disney Crush Kids' Imaginations?
I found it ironic that all the heavy hitters in "Disney's Mickey Mensa Club" (Science & Technology, Mar. 8) went through their own critical first 10 years of childhood without the "benefit" of computers and the nuclear-powered visuals embedded in Disney products.
It is nevertheless predictable, since the greatest developments in a child occur quietly, in a mental space that's uniquely his or her own--just the way a seed germinates. Unfortunately, Disney's vivid, over-the-top approach to storytelling is not unlike planting seeds with a pile driver. Disney paints a complete picture for the child, down to the tiniest pixel. This leaves children with nothing of their own to process and work with. Such stuff overpowers the child's imagination and leaves a hollow imprint with the Disney logo embedded in the young child's brain.
If all these bright people are really doing this "for the children," they might want to learn how children develop and learn deeply. The greatest irony is just around the corner. Due to Disney's successes over the past 50 years, the "Mickey Mensa Club" will go the way of the dinosaurs as the pool of replacement talent increasingly is limited to those raised on the "new" Disney.
Karl J. Forsyth
Anchorage, AlaskaReturn to top
Online Wine: We Don't Need a Middleman
There is more to consider in "Cyber-grapes of wrath" (UpFront, Mar. 8). Opponents of direct shipment following Internet sales claim that forcing these sales through the conventional three-tier system "...would cut down on underage drinking and boost retail sales." The latter may be true, but customers and wineries see no need to pay markups to retailers and wholesalers who did nothing to create the sale.
As for the underage-access issue, the current system isn't much of a model of protection. A study by the Health & Human Services Dept. determined that more than half of those aged 18 to 20 drink alcohol every month. It's hard to believe that minors purchase a great deal of wine, beer, or spirits by the relatively expensive and slow path of direct shipment, which leaves a clear trail of credit-card transactions, when they have ready access at the corner store. In California and New York, where direct shipment to the home has long been legal, virtually no complaints of illegal deliveries have been made. Yes, artificially created "stings" can show that minors can obtain licensed beverages directly, but it doesn't happen under normal circumstances.
Finally, the claims of tax losses advanced by direct-shipment opponents are misleading. Virtually all of these sales are fully legal within the 30 states that permit intrastate shipment and the 14 states that permit limited quantities of wine to be shipped to their citizens.
American Vintners Assn.
WashingtonReturn to top