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Wednesday's Letters to the Editor

College and democracy

EDITOR: I disagree with Isabel Sawhill (as quoted Sunday in "Does college pay off?") about who should pay for the non-monetary benefits of college education. We taxpayers should be eager to pay for social benefits such as less crime, more political participation and "overall well-being."

In the long run, the social benefits probably bring a much higher return on investment for us taxpayers than the increase in tax revenue from a higher income that a college degree could bring. It's up to each individual to assess whether the investment of time and money makes monetary sense for him or her.

The real issue is that those in the 1 percent have been sucking wealth from the rest of us for several decades, so we can no longer adequately support our educational system. That wealth should be returned to the common good so that we can provide each person with an education, be that college, trade school, high school, etc., that encourages him or her to reach full potential. That's what makes a healthy democracy.

ROBERT PLANTZ

Professor emeritus, Sonoma State University

Shun Levi

EDITOR: Why is a cheater, guilty of doping, Levi Leipheimer, featured on your Monday front page ("Levi: 'I'm retired,' ") along with his "career highlights" accumulated while cheating? Did some politically correct, new age junior editor from Sebastopol slip one by the regular editor?

What part of the anti-doping message do you not comprehend? It's not acceptable behavior.

He didn't retire. He was fired because he took drugs to enhance his inability to win. No one will put him on a team again. He needs to be shunned just as his friend Lance Armstrong is shunned, not put on the front page of The Press Democrat as an example of what he got away with.


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