To the editor:
When we eat, we get signals from our stomachs when we've had enough food and stop eating unless we have an addiction or are in a contest.
Contrast this with a blatant display of excess.
Liberty Mutual paid $50 million annually to Ted Kelly, who was stepping down as chief executive in June 2011. This caused a rise in the company's rates in spite of being owned by its policyholders.
So excessive was the salary paid that state insurance regulators learned of it along with legislators. The latter have sought to curb such seemingly blind disregard for fairness and common sense. Will they succeed?
Speaking of common sense, tax cuts for the rich don't result in positive effects for the economy, such as job creation, according to Peter Diamond, the 2011 Nobel Prize winner in economics. That said, it would seem support for the common good rather than special interest lobbies that have the ability to influence decision-making resulting in gridlock in our Congress, would be a positive choice.
The absence of compromise and bilateral action is evident in our now dysfunctional legislative branch. Ratings for Congress on the part of citizens are at their lowest point in years. How are we to accomplish what is needed by way of improving the economy — many more jobs, better pay resulting in more demand for goods and the ability to work together?
The vast sums of money spent in the present election season was encouraged by the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United. Corporations aren't hampered by campaign finance protection but are free to spend as much as they want. The sources of the funds don't need to be identified.
Presumably, government is responsible for maintaining the rule of law such as issuing regulations on banks to prevent debacles like the recession in 2008. Back to what government does: public education, administering Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, funding scientific research along with policing, maintaining infrastructure which needs improving, and other services like public libraries and parks.
A public-private partnership is developing to confront "legalized bribery" undertaken by lobbies trying to subvert our democracy.
The gap between the "haves" and "have-nots" has grown to a degree not seen since the 1920s. One in four children live in poverty. Every minute, 17 children die from hunger and preventable diseases. Six million people have no income aside from food stamps.
Meanwhile, 30 major corporations paid no income tax through 2008-2010, yet CEO pay has increased over the last 30 years, 127 times the pay of workers.
Poverty creates political and social unrest.
It's time to rein in greed over need. It's past time to cry out, "Enough, already!"
Chapel Street, Gloucester