Skeptical that robots are taking U.S. jobs

Journalist Dan Raviv’s Aug. 31 op-ed, “President throws the dice on trade,” offers the usual misleading interpretations that Democrats have been stating since they lost the election.

He states that many economists believe efficiency in manufacturing, partly due to robotics, resulted in the loss of millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs. But, if it were only robotics, then why did U.S. manufacturers such as Carrier Corp. move hundreds of jobs to Mexico? Why didn’t the company just put those robotics to work in their U.S. factories with U.S. workers? Wouldn’t that have made more economic sense?

If robotics are taking the places of so many U.S. factory workers, then why are so many Mexican, Chinese and Korean workers employed in those supposedly efficient robotic factories that U.S. manufacturers built overseas?

Unfair trade deals that benefit large GOP and Democratic campaign contributors, not robotics, caused the loss of millions of U.S. blue-collar jobs.

Tom Colangelo, Dix Hills

Give tractor-trailers a police escort

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As soon as I learned that a truck got stuck at an overpass on the Wantagh State Parkway, I thought it must be one of the tractor–trailers leaving a show at the Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater [“Singer’s tour truck stuck,” News, Aug. 29].

I was correct. Shows at Jones Beach bring in substantial revenue for the state and county. Why don’t these trucks get police escorts to negotiate the antiquated roadway?

This will not be the last truck to hit the Wantagh State Parkway overpass.

Gary Stallone, Mount Sinai

Build artificial reefs at wind towers

It’s encouraging that the wind-turbine developers are meeting with Long Island fishers to discuss the impacts of the project on the fishery [“Fishing grounds mapped off LI,” News, Sept. 4].

The installation of the turbine towers provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve the fishery by incorporating artificial reefs, as well. Simply dumping concrete blocks or construction debris near each of the towers would encourage shellfish and fish growth.

John Fruin, Amityville

Offshore wind turbines are an expensive way of generating electricity compared with land-based wind turbines.

If you want to protect the environment by generating renewable energy, it should be done in the cheapest way. Wind turbines could be placed along the Main Line of the Long Island Rail Road and especially on farmland where very few people will ever see them.

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Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

$25,000 a year isn’t high income

As a retiree who depends on both programs, I agree with most of your Sept. 3 editorial, “Zero hour looms to fix Social Security and Medicare.” However, I found one statement misleading. The editorial noted that President Ronald Reagan’s Social Security reforms made the benefits checks of high-income recipients taxable.

Is $25,000 a year for single retirees high income? That’s the threshold set by the Windfall Elimination Provision of 1983, when $25,000 was a hefty amount. That provision today stands for “wipe out every penny” for many on fixed incomes. AARP urged Congress to eliminate this burden as part of a total tax reform package. New Yorkers should urge their federal representatives to get on board.

Richard Reif, Flushing

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What to do with

NY’s constitution

I support a state constitutional convention, but one populated by folks who are not dependent on political party largesse [“Convention of hope,” News, Aug. 27]. Delegates should be professionals and experts.

I favor limiting political donations to put political action committees and individuals on same playing field. Also, I agree with term limits. We don’t need professional politicians.

Health and benefit packages of public workers should mirror those of regular folks. The number of Civil Service and professional jobs should be increased, with a corresponding decrease in patronage positions. Finally, public education would be better served by consolidating school districts and increasing trade and computer education.

Joe Van Denburg, Sayville

Why all the fuss about whether New York voters should approve a constitutional convention in New York?

New York’s constitution has been amended more than 200 times by the process of legislation and public referendum.

If our state legislators want to try to weed out corruption and graft, they can simply pass legislation. We don’t need a constitutional convention. However, legislators lack the backbone.

A constitutional convention is just another way for the government to spend millions of dollars we don’t have and to pass the buck on making real changes in Albany.

Robert Livoti, Center Moriches