Forum, July 12: Co-op Firings; Headline Was Unfair; Export-Import Bank’s Folly

Firings and the Co-op’s Principles

To the Editor:

It was with great disappointment that I read about the recent firings at the Co-op Foodstore in Lebanon (“Cheese and Wine Firing Party,” June 29). While I understand that New Hampshire state law allows employers to terminate employees without cause, the Lebanon Co-op’s recent actions against its employees are antithetical to its founding principles as a community-owned institution. As a former Co-op employee, long-time member and frequent shopper, I had believed that the Co-op held itself to a higher standard — one by which employees are treated as equal partners with the ability to speak freely and without fear of reprisal.

The circumstances surrounding the firing of individuals who have served the Co-op and the Co-op’s customers well for more than 10 years each do not speak well of the Co-op’s current management. Perhaps even more troubling is that the Co-op took the draconian measure of having both employees escorted out of the building. This situation makes me question the direction the Co-op is taking.

According to Jim Kenyon’s column and based on conversations I have had with other Co-op shoppers, there seems to be discontent among a number of the Lebanon store’s employees. Rather than firing employees without stating any reason, perhaps the Co-op’s management could open a dialogue with employees to gain an understanding of the origins of their discontent and make an effort to create a more positive work environment. These firings have left a bad feeling among many of the Co-op’s members and have likely made the environment for its current employees even more strained.

Suzy Fraser


The Actual Scoop on My Letter

To the Editor:

In a recent edition of the Valley News, Judy McCarthy presented an alternate position to my June 18 letter on Obamacare (“The Real Scoop on Obamacare,” June 22). I welcome this discussion of the most massive federal government program in decades being forced on us by President Obama and his Democrat allies in Congress. When all positions are presented fairly, voters can make better, educated, choices.

That said, I take issue with the headline given to her letter by the Forum staff. By labeling it, “The Real Scoop on Obamacare,” the implication is that hers is “Real” and mine is not. Is the Valley News suggesting to its readers that I am lying? Although the paper printed both letters, this is just one more example of its left-wing bias.

A few points concerning McCarthy’s letter:

She states that Senator Shaheen and Representative Kuster support Obamacare and that, “they’ll do just fine right here,” if they need health care. Of course they will! Didn’t they both opt out of Obamacare, taking advantage of the Congressional exemption (only available to the privileged class)? If they enrolled in Obamacare, I missed it.

McCarthy writes that it “seems shortsighted … to damn it and its supporters at birth.” It might have been useful for her to address, instead, the fact that it was illegal (unconstitutional) for Obama’s Democrat administration to move back the dates for the implementation of requirements in the law until after the November elections. By doing so, Obama spares candidates like Shaheen and Kuster from having to answer in these elections for additional negative impacts Obamacare will have on working, tax-paying voters.

Finally, she neglected to mention that the changes of the ACA, “much of it for the good of all of us …” are paid for with money taken from taxpayers. The government doesn’t have money. It will have to borrow the money for the ACA not covered by current taxes from other countries like China. We, our children, and our grandchildren will pay the principal and interest for those loans with even higher taxes for years to come.

John R. Lohmann


Cloak of Nationalism Hides Waste

To the Editor:

Charles Lane’s column (“It’s Time to Close the ‘Bank of Boeing,” June 30) was a pleasure to read. The Export-Import Bank’s mission — paying U.S. companies to sell to foreigners — is pointless folly.

Manufacturers of fire engines and stop signs — and their employees — might be happy if they were subsidized by a “Red-Nonred Bank,” but I expect most taxpayers would see that bank for the wasteful handout it would be. Only a thin veneer of nationalism hides the identical waste produced by Ex-Im.

Lane only stumbles by suggesting that “tougher international rules against export subsidies” are necessary to help U.S. companies “compete” with government-funded Euro firms. Sure, such rules would be in our best interests — and the rest of the world’s, too. But that doesn’t mean we have to wait for the Europeans.

Consider: If European taxpayers chose to pay Airbus to send the U.S. free jumbo jets, would we complain? Of course not! In that scenario, the amount of goods we produced might go down, but our wealth — the quantity of useful goods and services available — could only go up.

And the same applies, of course, even if the Europeans only pay for part of the jets’ cost. So why bother “competing” with them? Let’s buy the jets — and thank them politely for the savings.

Christopher Hansen