Fertility fall

Those concerned about immigration (legal and otherwise) might find comfort in a recent book by Jonathan Last, “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting.” According to Mr. Last, 97 percent of the world’s population now live in countries where the fertility rate is falling.

This includes Mexico and most South American countries. Since 1970 Mexico’s fertility rate has fallen 40 percent to just at replacement level. The U.S. fertility rate is currently below replacement while those of European countries as well as Japan are well below replacement levels.

As fertility rates continue to fall and living conditions in poorer countries improve, the incentive for their people to leave will rapidly diminish.

There seems little reason to believe the trend will be reversed. In fact it might be expected to accelerate.

Mr. Last predicts the results will be catastrophic. On the other hand, a trend toward a sustainable population would seem to be a good thing. Obviously there is a limit to what the planet can support.

James O. McClellan III

Pinckney Street

McClellanville

Represent all

Can you believe Teddy Turner said it’s hard to relate to minorities? I want my Republican congressman to be someone who can talk and relate to all people.

I hope that the voters in the 1st District will realize that we have candidates who can represent everyone, not just rich, white voters.

Adam Andrew

Beaufain Street

Charleston

S.C. State control

The same small number of people who demanded that the board retain the administration of President Andrew Hugine and then fought for two years to keep President George Cooper, even after he was fired by the board, are at it again — trying to control the presidency of S.C. State University.

After George Cooper was fired by courageous trustees such as Maurice Washington and Walter Tobin, these same individuals fought to bring him back. A majority board unfairly stripped Dr. Tobin of his rightful seat as chairman, and they elected Jonathan Pinson as chairman. Pinson resigned his seat on the board shortly before he was indicted by the federal government.

SCSU students are among the poorest and proudest students in the country with only 11 percent able to pay tuition without federal assistance. These are our children, and we will destroy their future if we aren’t ethical about the leadership of S.C. State University.

Sen. Chip Campsen, Rep. Wendell Gilliard, Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, former Rep. Anne Peterson Hutto, Rep. Mike Sottile, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, then Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell and Sen. Larry Grooms supported my request for a legislative audit of the school’s Transportation Center and the revenue from South Carolina taxpayers allocated to it. Had it not been for my good friend and SCSU board member, Maurice Washington of Charleston, all of the corruption at S.C. State University would have been swept under the rug and continued in perpetuity.

In the board of trustees Feb. 21 meeting, some trustees led an effort to disrupt a legitimate search for the next school president. Dr. Warrick was appointed as an interim.

Five trustees tried to call off the search. Of course they did not succeed because some independent, forward thinking board members aim to make S.C. State University a great institution once again.

These board members include chairman of the board Walter Tobin from Columbia, Maurice Washington and Gail Joyner Fleming from Charleston, Robert Waldrep from Anderson, Dennis Nielsen from Beaufort and Jackie Epps from Columbia. These board members have been working hard to change the image of S.C. State University.

I am asking the General Assembly of South Carolina not to listen to those destructive element forces when we vote on S.C. State trustees in the near future. It’s time to move S.C. State forward.

Sen. Robert Ford

Gervais Street

Columbia

Tree problem

Government too often fails to solve society’s problems because it fails to properly define the problems. The latest example is the Department of Transportation’s decision to hack down the stately trees in the I-26 median from Summerville to I-95.

This is DOT’s solution to the inordinately high traffic fatality rate for this stretch. What a pity. And what a waste of $5 million.

Not only will South Carolina be in the running for having the most dangerous highways, but also the ugliest.

The problem is not caused by the trees, but by distracted drivers, driving too fast and the absence of protective guardrails.

Leave the trees, put up some guardrails, enforce speed limits and outlaw cell phone usage while driving in South Carolina. Focus on the problem constructively, not destructively.

Stephanie Iauco

Dave Iauco

Delahow Street

Daniel Island

Minimum logic

I think it’s the definition of stupidity — doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. President Obama is talking about raising the minimum wage again from $7.25 to $9. Some senators have suggested $10.

Raising the minimum works for a little while. Then employees who have been with the company for some time at base wages don’t like receiving the same pay as those just hired, so they ask for a raise. This follows up the line until everyone’s pay is increased.

Then the companies adjust the prices of their products to reflect their increased costs, and everyone loses what they just gained, or worse.

Who wins? Various government bodies whose tax revenue is increased. Social Security goes up for both individuals and companies. And some labor union dues rise. Why not $100 per hour so we can all be millionaires?

I am 86 years old. My first job was picking up apples at an orchard across from my school. It was the summer of 1939, pay was 25 cents per hour. I bought my first suit for $14.50. Milk was 10 cents a quart delivered to our door. First class postage was 3 cents.

You could buy a new Chevy or Ford for $800 or $900. My Dad bought our first home about 1930, four bedrooms, two and a half stories, a two-car garage with a workshop and an attic and a chicken house in the rear, all on three acres of ground for $5,500.

Now the minimum wage is $7.25. Milk is $3.99 per gallon, a good suit about $150, a First Class stamp is 46 cents, that new Chevy or Ford will set you back $12,000 to $15,000. Our family home, with no changes, but kept up, was sold in the mid-’80s for $140,000.

Do not raise the minimum wage.

While I’m on my soapbox: Congress is just too big. The 100 senators there today can’t even pass a required budget. We need a major election so that each state can choose its favorite senator, the losers can go home and we’ll have 50 doing the work.

For the House, we should select one from every three contiguous districts and reduce that body by two-thirds. Limit the Senate to two terms, the House to four.

And, if stopping Saturday delivery will save $2 billion per year, let’s deliver mail on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and save $6 billion! If you need mail more often, rent a box at your nearby post office.

For that majority in government who never took bookkeeping or economics, we are broke and close to bankruptcy. We need a fix — now.

John C. Burne

Hansard Drive

North Charleston

Save Clamagore

We Baby Boomers should move the submarine USS Clamagore, now rusting away at Patriots Point, up onto dry land. We can thereby show some tangible appreciation to America’s greatest generation — all of those who participated in World War II — by doing what Charlestonians do best, preservation.

“Rescue the Clamagore” or “Save the Sub” — I will certainly donate to this worthy effort. The wonderful idea in a well-written letter to the editor on Feb. 16 convinced me that we can do it.

Let’s make this a Baby Boomers’ tribute to our fathers’ generation.

Terrill Leff

Apollo Road

Charleston