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Money's source matters

| Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

After reading Robert J. Bush's letter “One-sided diatribe” (March 12 and TribLIVE.com) comparing government assistance for laid-off Hostess workers to the recently announced Heinz executives' payoff after that company's sale, I offer the following points for consideration:

• The key difference, for which Mr. Bush offers no distinction, is that the Hostess workers are being paid with taxpayer money, not Hostess money. The Heinz executives will be paid with shareholder funds — from shareholders who are free to sell their shares in the company if they are displeased.

• While I agree that the $436 million to be paid to the Heinz execs sure sounds like a nice pile of money, when you start to head down the “that's unfair and obscene” road, it leads to a very ugly place. Who gets to decide what's fair? The government? Anybody who thinks they “deserve” more? See, the problem is, no matter what level you have achieved in society, there is always someone who believes that what you have is “unfair.”

If you think the Heinz execs' payout is unfair, I can assure you that there are millions of people in the U.S. and around the world who think that what you have is “unfair,” and as we are seeing with $16 trillion in federal debt, sometimes there just ain't enough fairness to go around.

Karl Kimmich

Richland

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