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Dick Ramirez: Dysfunction reigns across politics, freeways

SCV Voices

Posted: October 1, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 1, 2012 2:00 a.m.
 

Recently I noticed a Caltrans vehicle parked at a curb. I stopped and asked the occupant if I might ask him a question. He graciously said yes.

I stated, “With all the millions and millions being spent on freeway improvements we see on the 405, major junctions and countless other areas, why does Caltrans allow the older lanes of the entire system to deteriorate to the point where there are presently far too many areas where driving safety becomes a concern? The actual pavement is crumbling, sinking, and many areas have edges that would certainly destroy our tires in a non-radial-tire age.”

He responded by asking me to comment on the actual areas I was describing. My immediate thought was, “Wha?”

The vehicle he drove had rubber tires. It was no “Star Wars” vehicle that hovered inches off the ground as it traveled. How could he not be as knowledgeable as all of us who drive California’s highways? I was dumbfounded.

I thanked him for his time, telling him that it allowed me to express this frustration.

While I’m on the subject of nonsense, I’d like to comment on a Sept. 24 column by one of our weekly contributors. He equates “entitlements” in the same vein as charity.

For 46 years, my employers and I contributed to my Social Security, Medicare, pension and health plans. Basically, all contributions were my monies as the result of compensation for my employment. This was the result of the process known as “collective bargaining.” I earned every penny!

I’m aware the federal government stole some of our Social Security money; that’s another matter and it seems to be ignored.

The elderly are not “largely ignored by our society.” I and other grandmas and grandpas have these federal supports that we have contributed to over the years. That’s not charity.

If Paul Ryan were to make an address to the entire nation that he and all other federal employees would give up their pensions, health plans and other free entitlements and accept our Social Security and Medicare, I might listen.

But he lays it on the 47 percent that are referred to as “irresponsible” and the 99 percent without lobbyists or fair representation from elected officials.

I have frustrations about our dysfunctional political system, the condition of our freeways and a few other matters.

I will continue to fight windmills and chasing rainbows. Wanna join me?

Dick Ramirez is a Valencia resident.

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