[Ted] Wheeler hopes voters will help him prove skeptics wrong ["Mining Fool's Gold," WW, Sept. 4, 2013]. It's not the voters, but the course of the markets going forward that would prove skeptics "wrong," and even that may be a matter more of luck than being right or wrong.

Borrowing, which has a certainty in its requirement to be repaid, to invest in something that has a highly uncertain return is an inherently risky strategy.

A lot will depend on actual details, but relying on [earning] averages of past performance is highly misleading and dangerous.


Our government should not pursue risky financial schemes. There is another problem with this scheme, which is that "human capital" can relocate to another state. I respect Wheeler, but I think he is dead wrong on this.


How about letting the various colleges and universities continue to manage their endowments, as they do today? If the citizenry thinks more people should have the opportunity to pursue a degree, let them direct their donations to their favorite schools, and increase the size of those endowments.

—"Another Guest"


No matter your viewpoint, this is slave labor and government bodies should be ashamed of using this practice ["Picking at Scabs," WW, Sept. 4, 2013]. If these governments are providing "training," then pay the inmates a compensable wage and give them job-placement services when they have completed their time.

If the county charges $565 for a 10-man work crew, and the services of the inmates are only $10, what's the other $555? Surely not for paying a "living wage" to guards and for equipment. Work is work, and it is only fair to provide comparable compensation to inmates or employees. This is hypocrisy.

—"Arm of Keaau"

Let me see if I follow the intellectually rigorous analysis advanced by Laborers' Local 483 and its indignant leader, Richard "Buz" Beetle: Any brainless idiot can do the work performed by the inmates, therefore it is beneath them; however, we the taxpayers should pay top dollar, er, "a living wage," for the very same work.

Great idea. No doubt the next time Buz needs his lawn raked he will be sure to avoid the low bid and pay as much as possible.


I hate to break it to the union folks, but they don't own the taxpayers' dollars. We taxpayers spend a lot of money on incarcerating prisoners. They are getting free room and board on our dime. Why shouldn't we get a little work out of them?

The unions are essentially asking us to pay twice for this service.

—"PDX listener"

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