With the rise in consumer debt, does anyone really have the luxury of discretionary income anymore?

Certainly not government employees in South Carolina, of which there are apparently more than 700,000.

They are among the lowest paid public employees in the United States and are lumped into what is generally referred to as the middle class.

Actually, they are lower middle class because their wages have not kept pace with the cost of living.

These people, who include police officers, sheriff’s deputies, EMTs, clerks and administrative staffers, are the bulwark of support for burgeoning industrial and commercial ventures in South Carolina, but they see the least benefit.

Although it’s not too late to fix current income and future pensions, there is no effort being made in that regard.

If we could muster the political will, raising salaries to the national average and adding a 2 percent consumption tax to state taxes would:

Raise contributions to the state pension plan and increase tax revenue;

Give a role in supporting government workers to all South Carolina residents;

Help government workers save for the future; and

Spur businesses that may increase employee wages.

This is a long-term problem that needs a long-term solution.

ED STEPHENS

Midland Parkway

Summerville

I-526 needed

As a Kiawah homeowner, I am saddened and upset by The Post and Courier’s position on completing I-526.

The excuses and delays that you’ve supported have not only prevented this important project from being built but they have needlessly and purposely stalled the project and increased its cost.

This project has been studied and approved repeatedly only to be delayed by a few who seek to drive up its cost and prevent its construction.

The area’s growth depends on a sturdy and supportive infrastructure of which I-526 is an important element.

Without this road, the quality of life on Johns Island will deteriorate as we remain mired in traffic that prevents us from getting to work, getting our kids to school, getting to medical care or going to downtown Charleston in a reasonable amount of time.

It’s time for Charleston to address its failing infrastructure issues by moving forward with I-526.

Yesterday’s roads will not suffice for today’s citizens, who have invested so much in the long-range success of the community.

ALAN D. LEVOW

Grey Fox Den Court

Kiawah

New city motto

Did you know that the city of Charleston has a Latin motto? It’s “Ædes Mores Juraq Curat,” which means “She Guards Her Temples, Customs and Laws.”

It’s very fitting for the Holy City, which protects her traditions and past with such fervor.

Given the current times and customs of the city’s protectors, however, I suggest a new motto: “Ibi Nullus Yadit; Suus Quoque Frequenti,” or loosely translated: “Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

GEORGE SPAIN III

West Hudson Avenue

Folly Beach

Rape trauma

I’m grateful to the May 16 letter writer who addressed the marital rape story. I was raped not by a spouse but by a friend of a friend who asked me for a ride.

I very much relate to the statement, “if I don’t find a way to report rape charges within 30 days, it’s as if it never happened.”

I was raped and held hostage for 17 hours and threatened with death. I reported it within 24 hours and submitted to a rape test, which was positive for rape. I spoke with prosecutors, who informed me that if I could not cite the exact time of each incident during my captivity, the case couldn’t be prosecuted.

So I buried away the trauma and pretended it never happened because that was the official response.

The letter writer helped me remember the trauma and that it indeed happened to me. I share the letter writer’s concern: “Why are our leaders not doing anything to fix this?”

All rapes deserve an adequate response, marital or otherwise.

ELAINE TANAY

Scalybark Road

Summerville

Boeing support

Recently a union leader from Georgetown wrote a letter claiming that Boeing South Carolina has a culture where people are not encouraged to speak up.

As a Marine Corps veteran, I am dedicated to supporting our veteran community. I am privileged to work with Boeing, a company that shares this mission with investments and engagement for veterans’ recovery and rehabilitation, and workforce transition. More than 20 percent of Boeing South Carolina’s workforce are veterans.

I serve as executive director of Vantage Point, a nonprofit that guides and supports post 9/11 veterans on a path toward healing and civilian success.

Participants leave the course with career, educational and personal goals, along with a support network of mentors, fellow veterans and professionals.

Boeing invests in Vantage Point to train veterans and provide the support necessary for them to be successful members of their communities, workplaces and families. Boeing employees dedicate themselves to mentoring and training veterans in our program.

The Boeing leaders I know speak up and step up, which is a direct reflection of the Boeing culture. These people encourage open communication along with dedication to others and a mission greater than themselves.

It is inaccurate to suggest they embody a corporate culture that fosters fear and retaliation against their own team members.

Based on my experience, the Boeing team is focused on a culture that lives these values while building both world-class airplanes and a better community.

MARK HOLYFIELD

Executive Director

Vantage Point

King Street Extension

Charleston

An even keel

I am a regular reader of The Post and Courier and have been since about 2004. I especially pay attention to letters to the editor, editorials, syndicated columnists and guest commentaries.

The Sunday, May 12, edition had its normal mishmash of topics.

The main problem with these columns is that everyone has a political agenda that is pretty easy to determine, and that diminishes their effectiveness.

The one exception was (and normally is) Ed Buckley. I have always admired his ability to keep his subject on an even keel and help convince readers that his issues are bipartisan.

He is a polar opposite to Brian Hicks and Leonard Pitts. I think that he would make an excellent politician.

The Post and Courier is very lucky to have Ed and should feature his columns as often as possible.

LARRY WIESSMANN

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

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