There are jobs

I was reading the comment about the shopping mall to be built at Fourth Street and Range Line. I could not help but notice that the person interviewed concentrated on the fact that he had been without work for several months. He seemed to blame older people on fixed incomes.

Some don't realize that older people made their income by taking "any" jobs that were available until something better came along. There are jobs out there to be had by anyone who is willing to work. Just because a person was laid off or let go from a job that paid much more than the minimum wage does not mean that there are no jobs to be had.

If you need to pay bills and feed a family, take one or two jobs. You, too, can do it if we did it. It seems to be the belief of people today that there are not any jobs. Is that because there is no work or that they are not willing to work? It is no disgrace to take a low-paying job, but it is a disgrace to "not" take a low-paying job to pay your bills.

They keep reporting on the news that the economy is at a low. If they would come to our Four-State Area and check out the malls and grocery stores, I think their polls would change. People are building houses and buying cars and shopping for groceries and buying clothing and household needs. Someone someplace must be working.

D.J. Lambert

Galena, Kan.

Misleading

The editorial "Veto not a surprise" (Globe, April 30) is misleading. It states, "We think Missouri should join the list of states that have capped awards for pain and suffering." Missouri joined that list in 1986, when the General Assembly capped awards for all noneconomic damages, which include pain and suffering, at $350,000 (about $565,000 in today's dollars). The new bill would simply have set a lower cap and removed the old law's adjustments for inflation. There was no justification for removing the adjustments for inflation. Future malpractice victims will suffer no less pain than malpractice victims today, so why should they be given awards that will be worth less?

Damage-cap advocates always complain about frivolous malpractice suits. But damage caps do not stop frivolous lawsuits. In fact, damage caps are more likely to affect righteous lawsuits than frivolous ones. Most frivolous lawsuits are thrown out before they reach a jury, or end with a verdict in the doctor's favor, and since damages are not awarded in the case, the damage cap makes no difference. The real cost of frivolous lawsuits is the time and money spent defending against them, not damages.

But, damage caps do affect nonfrivolous cases, for instance when the surgeon is drunk, or cuts off the wrong leg. The damage cap prevents the patient from getting the damages for his pain and suffering that any other plaintiff - a car-accident victim, for example - would receive as a matter of course. That is not justice.

If we want to lower malpractice-insurance rates, then we need to promote competition in the insurance industry and improve the quality of health care (ending the assignment of ER doctors to 24-hour shifts would be a good start). We don't need to victimize patients to benefit insurance companies, which is what damage caps do.

Daniel R. Baker

Joplin

Poor taste

The printing of the cartoon by Stahler of the Cincinnati Post in the editorial section (Globe, May 5) showed poor judgment and taste. The abuse of Iraqi soldiers does not minimize the ultimate sacrifice of our American soldiers who have given their lives, and any comparison shows great disrespect to the families of those who have lost loved ones.

Russ Kemp

Joplin

Honoring our dead

War is not pretty. But with all the things in the news nowadays, let's think about how we honor our dead. I believe that we should show the funerals and memorials for our dead on Arab TV. Yes, we mourn our dead. But if we show the large turnouts, the miles of people lining the road with American flags, and honoring our dead, we will show them just how to honor the dead.

Our National Guard and reservists train just for the very thing of war. We have the best support troops in the world. Ten years after Vietnam, I went in the Air Force Reserves. We were on a rapid deployment team. We were just waiting for something to happen. We were sometimes better trained than the active-duty people. That's what they train for. Right now we must support our troops any way we can.

Bob Gideon

Carterville

Two cents' worth

I realize that this may be viewed as a very small matter, but your recent large spread publicizing the uselessness of the "penny" was quite misplaced. Please refer to any good dictionary to find that a penny describes a coin minted and circulated in and for Great Britain.

The coin defamed in your recent article was the United States "cent." Look on the reverse side of any of the 11 different varieties produced over the last 211 years and they will all say "One Cent." Sorry, but to give you my "2 cents' worth" you were tooting the wrong horn.

Robert Brumback

Noel

This Week's Circulars