Simple way to solve income inequality

There's growing concern over the widening gap between the rich and the poor. There exists, however, an obvious solution to this problem.

Society benefits when people are free to accumulate wealth. That's what drives entrepreneurs to develop the new life-enriching products from which we all benefit. It's the passage of wealth from one generation to another, who did nothing to earn the wealth, that creates the problem. Too many millionaires simply inherited their wealth.

Billionaires should be free to accumulate and spend their wealth freely during their lifetime, but the government should confiscate all unspent assets after they die. (OK, leave a few million for the kids to enjoy.) This windfall could be used by the government to reduce the national debt, which benefits us all.

Probably, billionaires would leave little money for the government to confiscate because they would see that all is spent before they die.

Like Bill Gates, they would most likely spend their wealth for the benefit of society (create research centers, build new hospitals, fund nature conservancy, etc.). Everyone benefits!

Walter D. Welti

Danville

Chevron funding program for girls

I want to correct the assertion by Jeff Shoji in his March 7 letter in the Times, "Billboards touting the Chevron logo," where he stated, "Ironically, Chevron gives not one dime to the Rosie the Riveter Foundation or any shoreline effort that I am aware of. It takes a special kind of indifference to be that far out of touch."


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In fact, Chevron has been one of the most generous donors to the Rosie the Riveter Trust, providing tens of thousands of dollars for both projects and programs, especially "Rosie's Girls," a six-week working summer day camp for Richmond middle-school girls.

As "Rosie's Girls," they spend their summer engaging in activities meant to expose them to positive female role models and to learn traditionally male skills such as carpentry, plumbing, self-defense and firefighting.

The camp is free to girls from Richmond neighborhoods that have been designated as disadvantaged.

Councilman Tom Butt

Richmond

Biggest job killer in U.S. is Obamacare

A recent business-page article in the Times reported that the workers laid off during the recession are among the early beneficiaries of Obamacare. It is a small justice for those who lost their jobs from a situation mainly due to Obamacare itself.

It is the biggest killer of jobs since it was signed into law four years ago. The employer mandates and added taxes are the main drags on the economic "recovery" that is not really a recovery.

Total employment is down and gross domestic product increases are less than inflation. I am sure that the woman in Chicago cited in the article would rather have her $60,000 a year job back instead of $17,800 and subsidized insurance.

Repeal Obamacare and go for energy jobs, and the United States will boom.

Bob Rickman

Benicia

To save money, cover birth control costs

The government should provide birth control and contraceptives as a tax-saving method.

Would you rather pay for a woman's unplanned pregnancy, the cost of prenatal care, birthing, postnatal care, unemployment or welfare, food stamps, child care, and aid to dependent children?

Also, an unwanted child may grow into a life of crime, with its associated costs of investigation, apprehension, judicial system, incarceration and further costs.

What makes more economic sense?

Roland Mueller

San Pablo

Inhumanity hurts more than execution

I was really surprised to read that a lawsuit filed by Missouri death row inmate Michael Taylor achieved its goal -- getting the compounding pharmacy to agree to stop selling pentobarbital to the Missouri Department of Corrections.

In the lawsuit, Taylor argues that the drug could cause "inhumane pain and suffering." He is not arguing his innocence, just that it might hurt to pay his debt to society.

Sometimes our actions have very big consequences. If Taylor were to feel any pain, I can't imagine it would be for long. How long will the family of his victim experience "inhumane pain" at their loss.

Taylor pleaded guilty to abducting, raping and stabbing a 15-year-old girl. I cannot imagine that the pain and terror she experienced was humane.

Jim Castel

Pleasant Hill