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Social engineering fail
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Regarding your recent column "A Christmas message not everyone wants to hear":

Do you find it ironic that you decry the love of money as the root of all evil and yet every example you provide advances the belief that more money can resolve all human ills? Libertarian opposition to progressive social engineering policies comes from massive amounts of evidence that show failure of these progressive policies.

Not suggesting we should cut all entitlement programs or reduce the nation's safety net to nothing. There are poor people in this country who need and deserve help.

It's a straw man argument to say that libertarians want to cut all spending and watch people die in the street. Debate is rarely an all or nothing conversation. What level do safety nets yield the best outcomes for us?

Instead of continuously throwing more good money after bad, perhaps some belt-tightening within these bloated bureaucracies would force smarter decisions and more creative problem solving that rewards perseverance, innovation, and smart decisions leading to better outcomes for all while reducing our overall national debt.

Public education: Have the massive increases in spending on public education yielded significant improvements in the success of our students? You state that the U.S. has the fastest falling education levels of all developed nations. We continuously increase the funding and yet the outcomes continue to plummet.

Perhaps our new governor believes that forcing school administrators to do more with less will encourage smarter decisions, "cull the herd" of bad teachers and yield improvements in the system that would never occur with a "just throw more money at it" progressive strategy.

Unemployment benefits artificially increase the salary threshold at which someone will accept a job rather than sit on the couch playing video games on their big screen TV. How many people turn down jobs taking home $400 per week because the government pays them $330 not to work?

While progressives bemoan the ill-effects of greed, libertarians feel the same way about sloth. We see the Petri dishes of progressive economic policies as they bankrupt Western Europe and California. Any attempt at austerity launches the moocher-class into riotous frenzy.

The love of money is certainly the root of all evil. Progressives should keep that in mind when advancing the notion that society's ills can be solved by throwing more money at our problems.

Jim Johnston

Suggestion for Stillwell


I enjoyed reading Bill DeYoung's interview with Savannah native and Broadway star Haviland Stillwell. It's nice that she took time out of her busy schedule to help out a local cause.

There's one thing that Ms. Stillwell could have done to make her homecoming more successful. An internet search revealed that her album How I Role is only available as a digital download. Not everyone in Savannah can download music.

Had the album also been on actual CDs in local brick-and-mortar stores it would have been a great way to introduce herself to the whole city. Perhaps she can correct this soon.

I hope that Ms. Stillwell can come back soon and have a concert at one of our theatres, perhaps even headlining the 2012 Savannah Music Festival. If she had a public show here I'm sure she would rock the house from ceiling to floor and leave the audience begging for more.

Thank you for coming home to help restore the Tybee Theater, Ms. Stillwell. I wish you all the best in your acting and singing careers.

Jody Lanier


In last week's "Top 20 in 2010" roundup, we wanted to clarify a statement made about Savannah River Landing. While taxpayers are indeed on the hook for millions of dollars of related city business, the funding we mentioned is specifically for President Street drainage and improvement, not Savannah River Landing proper. The City did build the riverwalk extension and associated floating dock, but that was on state-owned riverbank. A City spokesman concludes that "The City has not spent a single dollar on the 54-acre Savannah River Landing property" itself, with all work on the site itself paid for by the developers.