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Cop shortage? Blame lawmakers

Re: The Detroit News’ Jan. 5 editorial, “State needs more cops in pipeline”: I read your article on the difficulty police departments are having with recruiting police officers. A few months ago I saw Nolan Finley talking about the teacher shortage in Detroit and how jobs were available and no one would take them. This is the result of a legislative philosophy in Michigan over the past several years. Teaching, policing and firefighting were once respected, middle class careers, where people with a passion for what they did could support a family. People knew that even though they took a job making far less money than they deserved, there were long-term benefits available that balanced the lower pay. Unfortunately, others looked at what these dedicated professionals were making and made the argument that we were paying them too much. The combination of low starting pay, limited advancement opportunities and loss of benefits has created this situation.

Karen Kudla, Lake Orion

Gas tax will backfire

Re: The Detroit News’ Jan. 4 editorial, “Cheers for the gas tax hike”: Why a paper would openly praise onerous tax increases in an already heavily taxed state borders on the insane. The saying goes you can’t tax yourself to prosperity. Well, Lansing missed that memo. If one wonders why so many other states are gaining jobs and opportunities while Michigan still struggles, look no further than our myriad taxes. Gov. Rick Snyder wants us to believe that better roads will bring business. Sorry, but lower taxes and the promise of profits bring business.

Mike Philippo, Harrison Township

Get the terms right

Re: The Detroit News’ Jan. 6 report, “Tough job for Trump: Getting more men back to work”: This article states: “To chart the problem and any progress Trump might achieve over the next four years, his team has pointed to an obscure gauge called the ‘labor force participation rate.’ This is the proportion of people who are either working or looking for work. It excludes anyone who’s stopped searching for a job.”

The labor force participation rate is just the opposite. It does include those not looking for work (unemployment rate does not). This is the issue in Detroit and other cities where the issues of prison records, drugs, lack of skills, etc. prevent so many from actually participating. It is a much better look at true joblessness.

Kurt R. Metzger, mayor, Pleasant Ridge

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