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OpinionLetters

Letter: Well-connected do well in Nassau

After years of economic difficulties, Americans could wonder where to find the land of opportunity. Well folks, it's right here in Nassau County ["Mangano's secretary moves on," News, Sept. 1].

Where else can you earn $69,732 as a secretary to the county executive and then secure a position paying $164,999 at the Nassau University Medical Center as the director of intergovernmental affairs and community services?

In what other land can you serve as the full-time economic development zone coordinator of a township -- Hempstead -- and also earn $66,470 a year as a part-time Nassau golf attendant ["A 2nd look at patronage," News Column, July 29]? Right here in Nassau County, of course!

Had the Statue of Liberty been located in Nassau County, it would have been inscribed, "Give me your Republican families, friends and party members yearning to use their political connections."

Michael Cooney, Massapequa Park

Labor is getting a smaller slice

Newsday's editorial, "Labor's changing direction" [Aug. 31] fails to mention that the changes in our economy have not been driven simply by some benign natural progression toward "efficiency" and the wonder of human innovation.

While rightly pointing out that these changes are shrinking the workforce and threatening the middle-class aspirations of generations of Americans, Newsday doesn't mention that as the nature of labor is reshaped, the capitalist continues to prosper at levels unimaginable historically.

The rich grow richer regardless of the ebb and flow of the economy, while the rest of us bear ever-increasing impediments to even modest prosperity. This is driven by the dictum that corporate profits must continuously grow to feed the investment portfolios of the 1 percent.

As for the rewards of education in the new global economy, ask the unemployed and underemployed college graduates what they did wrong to deserve this break of the American promise.

The pie that is America is still plump and delicious; it's just that labor, through no fault of its own, is getting a smaller slice.

Mike Cuomo, Calverton

Double mastectomy's right in some cases

Regarding "Caution on double mastectomy" [News, Sept. 3], on occasion medical research can cause more harm than good. The recent discovery that not as many people as previously thought would benefit from a double mastectomy could have a deleterious effect on breast cancer patients. It's true that having cancer in one breast does not necessarily mean that the healthy breast will develop a cancerous tumor; however, a preventive mastectomy will reduce the chance of malignant potential to zero.

The study does not consider the emotional benefits of knowing that that risk has been eliminated. In my years as an anesthesiologist, I've witnessed many patients who had a malignant breast tumor removed and underwent chemotherapy and radiation, only to return several years later for a biopsy of the other breast. Repeating the course of radiation or chemotherapy is deleterious to one's health.

The course of therapy should be the individual's choice.

Another concern is that a study of this nature may cause insurance companies to no longer cover bilateral mastectomies when only one breast is involved, leaving a small but definite risk of future disease.

Dr. Glenn J. Messina, Commack

I was infuriated by this article. I'm a 13-year breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at age 35.

There are reasons besides the purely medical why women have the other breast removed. For many, it's a quality-of-life issue. If you leave a healthy breast, you can spend the rest of your life being poked, prodded and scared at every little thing the doctors believe could be more cancer. This can riddle a person with anxiety.

Every woman is different and should make her own choice.

Amy T. Kielb, Hicksville

If companies are citizens, then . . .

Your editorial absolving Burger King of its plan to duck U.S. taxes seems to have been written by the Chamber of Commerce or the Republican Party ["Don't blame Burger King for ducking U.S. taxes," Aug. 27].

The Supreme Court in its horrific Citizens United decision stated that corporations are also citizens. But individual citizens, unlike corporations, have civic responsibilities that go beyond making as much money as possible. For example, what's the corporate equivalent of serving in the military?

No one doubts that our corporate tax system is broken, but that's not the same as saying corporations pay too much. Only 6 percent of U.S. corporations are subject to the 35 percent corporate tax rate, according to the Congressional Research Service. The bottom-line corporate tax rate is actually just 12.6 percent, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Can we noncorporate citizens do tax inversions too?

Mitchell Klein, Glen Cove

Columns