I am compelled to respond to David Ropeik’s July 20 column “Keeping vaccination rates high in public’s interest.”

My family and I are a vaccine-free (“V-Free”) family by choice, one of those families mentioned frequently in his column. He has assumed, wrongly, that many V-Free families’ decisions are based on the fear of the risks of vaccinations. That may be true for some, but certainly not for all. We didn’t make our decisions based on popular, or unpopular, opinion, or even medical recommendation. As intelligent, free-thinking adults, we did our own research in regard to the ingredients and base chemicals of the current list of 14 “recommended” vaccinations as posted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What we found was chilling. We were not afraid of the results, but we became resolute in our decision.

That day, we concluded our five children and I were no longer willing to submit to the chemical onslaught that vaccinations introduce to our systems and we “opted-out.” Not for religious reasons, not for philosophical reasons, but for common-sense reasons. We, the parents of our children, took responsibility for the health of our family and out of the hands of “professional medical vaccinators.”

Authorities, including Ropeik, claim that vaccines won’t work for society unless a very high number of people in the targeted population — schoolchildren — take them. Apparently, unvaccinated children are a threat to the group. But this fails the common-sense test. By this reasoning, the unvaccinated are somehow responsible for protecting the vaccinated. How ironic!

If some students are vaccinated, that’s their family’s (hopefully informed) choice. If other students are unvaccinated, that’s their family’s (hopefully informed) decision as well. Vaccinated students take their chances hoping to avoid serious adverse reactions, while unvaccinated students take their chances contracting the disease. However, if vaccinated students contract the disease, the shot was ineffective, not the fault of unvaccinated students. Officials ignore their own ineffective vaccine, choosing instead to smear the unvaccinated and lay us out as the sacrificial lamb for their ineptness. Outrage should be vented in the proper direction, at those who developed ineffective shots and falsely promoted a defective product.

Until the time comes that I can be guaranteed that no harm will come to my children through this barbaric vaccination program, we will happily remain vaccination-free.

Cheryl A. Stark

Heidelberg, Germany

Corporate greed does damage

Regarding the July 20 letter “Taxes stifle capitalism”: It’s time to cut through the false generalizations found in this letter, such as “nor do [liberals with an anti-capitalist ideology] understand why the present access to capital is now so restricted — partially as a result of increased regulation and … a lack of confidence in the economy.”

We’re in a jobless recovery because corporate profits and executive pay are at an all-time high. A study conducted for The New York Times found pay for top execs had gone up 29 percent since 2009. Median annual pay: $10.8 million.

Fortune 500 company profits were up 81 percent, revenues up 10.5 percent in the last year. Since the recovery began, corporate profits have captured 88 percent of the growth in real national income, while wages and salaries accounted for … slightly more than 1 percent. Clearly, corporations and stockholders are winning, wage earners are getting hammered.

Maybe the letter writer is unaware that America used to routinely place high taxes on the wealthy. The top tax rate in 1960 was 90 percent, and the rate was 71 percent when President Ronald Reagan took office. The top rate now is 35 percent, and of course those who receive their income from investments are only paying 15 percent. Hmm.

So those who fight against tax increases are blowing smoke.

Corporations are holding massive amounts of cash — there are 29 large firms that are holding more cash than the Federal Reserve — but they aren’t hiring. The wealthy have continued to squeeze the economy and stuff their pockets at the expense of working Americans. Rather than raise taxes toward levels that were common back when America was prosperous and strong, those who have made a big issue of stopping any tax increase would seemingly rather see military benefits slashed, cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and so on.

The big change took place when Reagan shifted most of the tax burden from the wealthy to the middle class. The “cut taxes and revenues will go up” idea was a failure then. Remember?

Sgt. Mark Armstrong


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