Debate revealed too little substance
Just what we needed: a "debate" that replicated the dysfunction of our state government in Albany ["Everybody wins it when nobody loses," News, Oct. 19].
At a time when tens of thousands of New Yorkers are unemployed or underemployed, we don't need a half- dozen pretenders joking about leading a government that will have a substantial role in shaping the future of what is arguably the most important state in the nation.
One might say that the debate affirmed our commitment to democracy by including all candidates, but the Constitution does not give anyone the right to make a mockery of the electoral process.
I was very disappointed in the content and quality of the debate between the candidates for governor. Three of the candidates just brought their own agendas and had nothing of substance to contribute to the problems New Yorkers are facing.
Andrew Cuomo's body language gave me the feeling he was smug and even condescending, like he had already won the election. Carl Paladino had all of about 12 minutes to address his plan to fix the problems in Albany. While everyone seemed concerned about the problems of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, there was no time to address the fiscal problems in Albany.
I would like to see another debate to evaluate the best candidate to lead New York out of the current fiscal mess.
Retirement system returns cash here
Your pension primer seems to show that the New York State Employees Retirement System is a great bargain for Nassau and Suffolk counties ["Election 2010 - The issue: Pension primer," News, Oct. 18].
Between both counties, they contributed $194.3 million to the pension fund and retiree residents in the counties received $1.19 billion in benefits, which was returned to the economy of the counties. I think a five-to-one return is a spectacular investment.
The candidates' cry that public employee benefits are excessive does not seem to hold up on the figures in your report. You report 47,466 retirees receive an average of about $25,200 per year in pensions, for a lifetime of work providing service to citizens. Add Social Security and personal savings, and an average person may be able to maintain a middle-class lifestyle in retirement.
Accepting nominees for exchange program
In honor of the long-standing exchange program between the United States and other countries, may I suggest sending some of our totally out-of-touch politicians to replace the miners just removed from the cave in Chile? ["Triumph of human spirit on display," News, Oct. 14]
With the right selections, this country could recover sooner.