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Labor advocate is wearing rose-colored glasses

Ms. Callie Vandewiele (“Thank a union worker,” Hillsboro Tribune, Aug. 29 issue) looks at history through rose-colored glasses.

For one thing, she is crediting political advocacy for the improved working conditions, rather than the simple fact that the market in an increasingly rich country was driving wages up anyway. Then she forgets that the labor movement was concerned with driving up wages by keeping competitors such as Irish and blacks out of jobs — a condition that continues to this day for blacks, many of whom have become a permanently unemployable underclass at least in part through the action of the minimum wage.

She also ignores the role of the politicization of labor in driving jobs offshore, and in favoring big business over their smaller competitors (who don’t have the resources to contend with innumerable regulations).

She ought to try getting out of the academic world and starting her own business, so she can discover how the world really works.

Paul Bonneau

Hillsboro

Don Mason is impressive legislative candidate

I was recently visited at my home by Dan Mason, who is running to replace our incumbent legislator, Joe Gallegos. I was very impressed with his fresh perspective.

Although our economy here in Washington County is recovering, it seems like our state government is asleep at the wheel. While debacles like Cover Oregon and the failed Columbia River Bridge project lined the pockets of consultants and cronies of politicians — where was Gallegos? I want someone representing me who is going to pay attention and demand accountability.

Dan Mason’s open door policy is a refreshing change. He handed me a brochure and pointed out the phone number published on it was his cell phone. That’s the kind of access and accountability I wouldn’t expect from a state representative, but I’m glad to have it.

I’ll be voting for Dan Mason this November.

Tracy Cram

Hillsboro

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