SF should learn from NYC’s rebirth in ’90s

Brian Anderson’s op-ed “How a great city saved itself” should be required reading for our city’s mayor, district attorney and progressive supervisors. The first part describes New York City in the 1990s and mirrors the mess San Francisco is in today. Continual crime and homelessness caged in dependency create a municipal welfare state by taking in all comers at the taxpayer expense.

I remember San Francisco as a boy and young man when it was safe to walk or ride anywhere in The City with family or friends. I have visited New York City in recent years and walked there in the daytime and at night and it was clean and safe. New York’s municipal officials recognize and support their fire and police departments. Locals and visitors there wave to fire and police as they pass.

If crime and homelessness are allowed to continue, San Francisco will no longer be a tourist destination — the bread and butter of its revenue. If New York can do it, it’s high time The City that’s supposed to know how does it.

Ed Baumgarten , San Francisco

Pros, cons to circumcision

The letter-writer who seemed to support banning circumcision would be taking the decision out of the hands of parents who may have a different opinion. There are pros and cons on the procedure, so I will quote directly from the American Medical Association website:

“The medical benefits suggested to accrue from circumcision are reduced incidence of urinary tract infection in infant males, decreased incidence of penile cancer in adult males, and possibly decreased susceptibility to certain sexually transmissible diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).”

Since there is not a consensus even among the most prestigious medical organization in the world as to whether benefits outweigh risks, I humbly suggest that your writer allow those of us in disagreement to pursue family matters with our best judgment.

John Dillon, San Bruno

German austerity pays off

The Germans rejected our president’s call to emulate his “stimulus” spending. They were justifiably suspicious of the claim that for every tax dollar spent, there is a $1.60 return in positive economic activity. Economists from the private sector told Germany’s chancellor that the return benefits on tax spending is more like 60 cents.

Angela Merkel listened. She cut spending, cut borrowing and committed her government to deficit reduction. The German economy responded by growing nearly 9 percent on a quarter-to-quarter basis. Unemployment dropped to 7.5 percent, the lowest in 18 years.

That’s leadership.

Paul Burton, San Francisco

Hands off Social Security

It is a dumb idea to attack Social Security during a recession. Social Security is probably the only financial instrument that is not subject to ups and downs of capital markets. Most of the money received by recipients is spent keeping the economy buzzing.

Denise D’Anne, San Francisco

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