The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 29, 2012

Readers' Forum 11-29 | Volunteer drivers needed for cancer patients


— By choosing big gov’t, we give up liberties

At a time when China is prospering by choosing capitalism over communism, and Europe is struggling to survive socialism, why would Americans vote for socialism? Do we want to be another Greece? By choosing big government, Americans are giving up individual liberties.

I’ve experienced the fear, observed the poverty and learned the limitations of big government in communist countries. In the Ukraine, for example, after church, a woman lifted her arms to heaven and exclaimed to me, “Under communism, I had one cow and the government took it from me; now I can have 20 cows and they are all mine.”

Thomas Jefferson said, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

It is capitalism that has made the United States the greatest nation in all of history. It is capitalism that allows individual freedoms. Under capitalism, every American has opportunities to rise economically and socially.

Under socialism and communism, everyone is kept at the same level. In time that level becomes extremely low when the government runs out of money. The top 1 percent is destroyed. Then the government receives no tax income.

In America, anyone can become a millionaire. The politicians and celebrities who have become rich under capitalism are the ones who want socialism.

Instead of choosing the moral, virtuous, successful capitalist for president, Americans, ignoring $16 trillion of debt, have chosen bankruptcy and our downfall.

Ann Mazur


Applauding Conemaugh Valley’s choices                                                                                     I am writing this in response to the Readers’ Forum letter on Nov. 17 by Len Facciani regarding “School-bidding plan shuts out local business.”

While it is true that the Conemaugh Valley School District has entered into a Project Stabilization Agreement with the Johnstown Building and Construction Trades Council, it does not limit bidding to union companies only.

The agreement was signed in order to assure the timely and economical completion of the project and to establish and stabilize wages, hours and working conditions for the workers, whether employed by union or nonunion contractors. Employees are required to have OSHA 10 training to ensure safety on the job site.

Employers must participate in a state or federal apprenticeship training program, which means the workers will be skilled and qualified to perform the job. Employers are also required to provide a medical and pension plan and provide proof that they pay workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

The Project Stabilization Agreement also states the contractor will exert its utmost efforts to provide highly skilled craft people from the residents of the Conemaugh Valley School District or local area.

I work for a company that will be bidding on three of the packages and we employ several workers who live in the Conemaugh Valley district.

I think the Conemaugh Valley school board should be applauded for making the decision to protect and provide a high quality job for their district.

Greater Johnstown High School work was performed under this same agreement and the job was a complete success.

Michael Pasquerilla


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What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
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Tougher sentencing by the court system.
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