Letters to the Editor

About 40 years ago while living in Ely, I had the pleasure to know several ex-Utah State Prison inmates who had been released from prison under conditional release, meaning that they had to be out of Utah within 48 hours.

Their custodian, Mr. Jim Williams, owner of Mt. Wheeler Mines, found that because of shortage and price of underground miners, that the cons were a good bargain, and Utah State Prison had an unlimited supply.

I remember one ex-con, a nice guy named Danny G. We were discussing another likeable Utah ex-con by the name of Rusty. Danny agreed with Rusty's likeability, but informed me that Rusty would soon be back in prison.

Frankly, I was quite surprised. Danny, noting my puzzled expression, explained that Rusty was institutionalized, meaning that Rusty could not cope with the responsibilities and the unpredictability of freedom. Sure enough, Rusty soon swiped a motorcycle and landed back in prison.

This brings me to the reason for this letter. It is my belief that much of our voting public suffers voter institutionalism. They can take only a small amount of scrutiny and incomprehensible political blather before they gladly swipe their hypothetical motorcycle. They flee to the polls to relieve themselves of further responsibility or thoughts of the consequences of decision-making by blindly punishing either the terrible Republicans or terrible Democrats, and just like the convicts, they are safe, at least for two more years.

Tom Jefferson


Regarding Leigh McGuire's letter of March 20, this is also an open letter to all who seem to feel unions are inviolate.

I soon will be 85 years old, had union parents, and believe I speak with a certain amount of experience when I say that unions have gone too far and must be restrained. During my working years from 1946 through 2002, I saw the best and the worst of unions, and I have belonged to unions; but no more.

No one should have to join a union to get a job, nor should they have to pay union dues just to be able to work. Inept teachers should not be retained because of seniority and tenure. Factories and companies should not be forced to close or move their operations offshore because of higher and higher wage costs.

I have seen union goons at work as they attempted to convince workers to join. Cities are now forced to lay off public service employees because of abuse of overtime rules and excessive pay to many senior employees. And the U.S. government does not permit collective bargaining by its employees.

Even so, look at what has happened to the Postal Service since they became unionized. Come on people. Enough is enough. Unions are like pendulums, they swing both ways and are too far out now. Those on the dole or getting undeserved perks seldom are willing to give them up, even when the cost of those benefits is bankrupting us.

Robert Uhrey



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