Letters: What Do You Think?

Bottle Bill: Dollar Figure Missing

Here is a short response to “Bottle Bills and Unicorn Farms” (Letters, August 16, 2012) and to “Spinning the Bottle” (August 8, 2012) because one is extremist blather and the other has left out some important information for solving the puzzle.

First, the latter. Although the article was informative, with equal time for both support and non-support of the “new” bill, there needs to be some meat behind what both sides argue. That missing entree that goes with both tasty side dishes is this: the money. In order to understand the success of the bill since the mid-80s and to further understand the burden the new bill would impose on business on the back end, I and my good buddy John Q. Taxpayer need to see some figures.

I would be intrigued and enlightened as a registered voter in the commonwealth, as a consumer, again in the commonwealth, and as a resident in the third largest city in the commonwealth, Springfield—the City of Firsts and a city with financial hardships deep and ugly—how many nickel deposits were collected and and how many nickel deposits were abandoned on the grocery doorstoop? “Spinning” began with a percentage statistic, but quite honestly—big deal. I don’t care about how many sticky cans and unwashed bottles were returned as a percentage of sales in any given year, but how many dollars those nickels added up to be. And more than that, how many dollars were tossed into the streets, rivers, forests, or, as one would hope; the garbage?

You see, the nickel is not a “tax,” as our friend over the northern border suggests, but a deposit and just that, in the most basic definition of the word. It only becomes a tax when the lazy dope that didn’t return to retrieve that shiny nickel leaves it on the table for Beacon Hill to grab and exploit. And let’s be real here: is it really that hard to bring back the cans and bottles and collect what’s rightfully yours, your hard-earned money? I will not listen to any argument here about how this is a hardship for the consumer. Stop being lazy. Purchase. Enjoy. Rinse. Go back and get your money. Otherwise you have no more right to complain how Beacon Hill spends this money.

Now, this number, this dollar figure, this missing link in the chain, always seems to be the very information we taxpayers need to fully understand the success or failure of the Bottle Bill and thus move ahead with our pleasure or pain. Also, what do the stores and recycling centers that collect the deposit(s) that are given up for adoption to the state for our elected officials to abuse and molest as they see fit enjoy for their trouble in the illegal trafficking of our earnings? Do they really have a leg to stand on to block a new bill because of cost? I will eat these words if I am wrong, but I have to believe they are sharing something with the reps and senators that is a benefit to them already.

Please, would someone announce these unclaimed figures so I can digest reality instead of choking down Chinese takeout that leaves me hungry again in 30 minutes? Please!

Last, I beg the good citizens of New Hampshire to please leave their politics at the border. We in the commonwealth have enough problems fighting amongst ourselves to understand how we’re being screwed. When you add in such treats as “Unicorn Farms,” we just get crazed by the shine and glimmer of the fantasyland you choose to live in. Also, please, let’s not begin the attack on environmentalists and/or special interest groups and/or progressives. We all are fully aware that taxes come from the men and women we elect, both Democrat and Republican, and their weak and fragile egos that allow them to be intimidated into voting according to how the donors will rush more dollars to allow the public servant to be reelected and maintain that “lifetime” seat. And that happens with conservative groups of all kinds as well, otherwise who would play tug-o’-war with the liberals? We all know the true definition of both the right and left stretching the elected official out of shape is just one word making them all part of one group; extremist.

I believe in the Bottle Bill. I believe it has worked as originally expected. I believe it has allowed all groups on both sides of this discussion to benefit, but I also believe there is something we’re not being told. Let’s take it all off and streak through the streets in all our natural glory when we are trusted enough to be told all we need to know: the truth.

Anthony J Raschilla


Inside the Sub-Prime Industry

This letter is in response to the articles covering the joint federal and state probe into mortgage-backed securities fraud.

Five years ago I was an underwriter for a sub-prime mortgage company that is now closed. It seems that most media outlets and government officials feign ignorance about the real underlying cause of the problem. There is either a tendency to blame the borrower or act as though no one in the industry (or outside it) saw this coming. They fail to mention that those who gained the most financially got off scot free while leaving the mess behind for everyone else to clean up.

In my former company, the sales managers and loan officers “held the keys to the safe” while deciding which guidelines to ignore, sometimes going so far as to bribe fellow underwriters to “look the other way.” Sales managers often overrode an underwriter’s decision they did not agree with. Other times underwriters would be threatened with [loss of] their job for “impeding company growth and progress” just because they refused to go along with the flagrant disregard of guidelines .

I complained to the sales managers about the bribing but all I got was a formal write-up for making “inappropriate comments”.

There was absolutely no support from the owner of the company, all the way to the human resource representative. This company was as corrupt as they come. I can’t tell you the number of sexual affairs that occurred between married and unmarried people, primarily among the management staff (at the workplace itself). Promotions were strictly political, moving people “up the ladder” who never proved themselves worthy or were on a final written warning to be terminated for poor performance. As a result of the corrupt management of this company, I and several hundred others were laid off.

I believe the federal government needs to investigate this company and bring to trial those corrupt individuals who broke the law. This would set an example for the rest of the mortgage industry that absolute corruption corrupts absolutely. It is time to end the corruption. Now do something about it!

Joe Bialek
Cleveland, Ohio

Author: Our Readers

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