It often seems that layoffs are a dysfunctional way of dealing with uncomfortable truths about a company or an entire business.
Mark Martino, Kirkland, Wash.
You deserve many thanks for having the courage to print the truth about layoffs on your cover. Corporate boards should realize that firing one incompetent senior manager whose salary is several times that of an average worker could salvage the livelihoods of several other people while providing the same savings and possibly restoring profitability. It might even boost company morale at the same time.
Alan Moylan, Coral Gables, Fla.
'Down with the People'
Jacob Weisberg's column made me want to stand up and cheer. We're all so good at finger-pointing, we can't see the real problem: we want everything at little cost to us. I wonder where all the "deficit hawks" were from 2001 to 2009, while we gave away our surplus and started two wars, one without cause. Now, suddenly, fiscal responsibility is a rallying cry—as if the problem started last year and has nothing to do with us personally. Thanks for calling a spade a spade.
Theo Tucker, Cincinnati, Ohio
While it is easy for Jacob Weisberg to cherry-pick polls to support his assertion that the grave situation facing America is due to the "childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large," it is increasingly clear that pundits like him are the ones who are actually living in Candyland. He misleads readers by painting a false choice between balancing the budget in the long run and funding unemployment benefits and health care in the present. It is possible to do both by increasing the corporate tax rate, instituting a modest financial-transaction tax, and decreasing military spending by pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Zoran Tasic, St. Louis, Mo.
'Who'll Pay the Piper?'
I have yet to see any letter to the editor opposing the constant rant that older Americans should be made to wait for Social Security and Medicare. I was laid off at 65. My retirement finances were decimated by the recession. Without Medicare, I would have no health insurance. If I took Social Security now, I wouldn't even get enough to pay my mortgage. Without the money I get from renting rooms in my house, I would be on the street. Yet Robert J. Samuelson thinks I should wait until 70 for Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Flo Samuels, Hayward, Calif.
In 1999 I attended a high school not 20 miles from Columbine. Our school was just as jock-dominated, but we escaped a massacre because it was not student athletes who caused that tragedy but two cruel, disturbed boys. Blaming athletes for Columbine is unconscionable, and Christopher Hitchens should be ashamed of himself. Instead he is content to sit back and insult people who find happiness in something other than what he finds happiness in—not unlike the religious fanatics he often rails against.
Jamie Bunting, Davis, Calif.
In "Buh-Bye, Wireless Guys," we suggested the Apple iPad can play content from Hulu. Since the iPad does not run Adobe Flash, it cannot play Hulu content. Newsweek regrets the error.