Letter to the Editor: U.S. awash in information
Oscar Wilde said, “By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”
It is easier than ever today to self-educate ourselves and one another. With the click of a mouse, an individual can access information across a wide field of facts and opinions. And with the flick of a page, a person can read from one of the thousands of newspapers printed daily in this country.
Roughly 80 percent of Americans who already have insurance through an employer or who are enrolled in a government program like Medicare will be unaffected by the Affordable Care Act (Census Bureau).
Individuals with no health insurance will have to pay 1 percent of their annual income, which by 2016 will be raised to 2.5 percent. However, there are a number of exemptions that can be claimed, including but not limited to income below the federal income-tax filing requirement, hardship and affordability (Supreme Court opinion, 2011).
Regarding unemployment, statistics show African-American unemployment rates are 12 percent as of February, as compared to 12.7 percent in January 2009 when President Obama was sworn into office (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
The government provides information to students seeking student aid, such as Pell Grants (studentaid.ed. gov). This program was designed to help low-income college students afford the high cost of going to college without being buried by debt. Unfortunately, these grants now cover less than one-third of the total cost of attendance at a public four-year university.
President Obama proposed to increase the Pell to $5,975 by 2020, but Congress never followed up to enact that into law. In December 2011, when a government shutdown was looming, the deal congressional leaders struck included a provision that preserved the maximum Pell Grant but reduced eligibility to use them from 18 semesters to 12.
For an individual to make claims that people in the United States of America “are denied the information they should have … and don’t even know they have been shortchanged” (“Americans denied information they need,” Kathleen Greenawalt, letter to the editor, March 14) is at best ill-informed.
The First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the making of any law that would infringe on the freedom of the press, enabling any individual the ability to access reliable information available in print or on the World Wide Web.
Angela M. DonGiovanni