Good Jobs - How Plentiful?
The opinion piece "Redefining 'Good' Jobs in the New Economic Environment" (July 13) seems to be filled with false generalizations and unsupported assumptions about the nature, pay, and permanence of the new service-sector jobs that the author says are replacing the well-paid, full-time, and more permanent manufacturing jobs of the past.
The article says the new jobs the US economy has created over the past 15 years are abundant, well paying, characterized by rising wages, and offer a bright future to the millions forced to take them. According to US Department of Labor statistics, wages, salaries, and benefits have been in sharp decline over the past 15 years for more than 80 percent of the US work force. And, according to former US Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich, most of the new jobs the US has created are temporary, low wage, or dead-end, characterized by limited opportunity for growth.
The author fails to note that "good" paying jobs are also in short supply. It is true that we have created an amazing number of high- paying new jobs over the past 15 years, but their numbers pale besides the 15 million or so manufacturing jobs we have lost. Few people are seeing the "benefits" of this shift to service-sector industries.
Thomas C. Reavey Jr
Stopping red-light offenders
The opinion piece "Cameras vs. Carnage: Why the Controversy?" (July 23) is interesting and well presented. Although "invasion of privacy" is often stated as the primary reason for opposition to red light cameras, it is not the only reason these devices have not been universally accepted. Cost is a big factor.
The cost of one installation of one camera to cover one approach to an intersection can be as much as the total cost of the entire traffic signal installation. I mention cost only because many municipalities simply cannot afford to install red light cameras at the majority of their intersections. For this reason, I sought an effective, yet economical, approach to this problem.
As traffic engineer for the City of Cupertino for nearly 25 years, I was critical of police and sheriff's deputies who do not do enough to apprehend people who blatantly run red lights.
In past monthly meetings with Cupertino's enforcement people, they told me that it is not easy for the officer to be in a position to observe a red light violation and still be in a position to pursue and ticket the offender. I thought that if the officer was downstream of the traffic signal, the offender would be easier to apprehend.
So, we developed a sensor device that would perform such a function, and several of these units were deployed. When the red traffic signal light comes on, a unit on the back of that signal also turns on. The deputy is in a position to see this and knows for sure that the red traffic signal facing traffic entering the intersection is, indeed, red.
These units are currently being manufactured by a local traffic signal company and sell for about $150 each.
Glenn M. Grigg
Delight in the Monitor
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