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Unstable stock market has investors on edge

It seems that most working-class Americans today are channeled through financial planning firms to secure any kind of retirement funds. That usually means, depending on one's age, investing earned income in the stock market via a financial planning group. In 2008, too many people lost heavily in these venues. I'm sure they, like myself, were told something along the lines of "ride it out; these downward trends never last." Yeah, OK.

In a sense, our futures and how we will live out our golden years are dictated by the stock market. Most people outside of the financial arena know little about this worldwide casino and, in the end, we have to trust in our financial planners to treat our money as if it were their own. So if a person hangs on through all the ups and downs, where will he be in 20 years?

The stock market is unstable, we know. Where will this leave a whole generation of trusting citizens? If people decide to pull their money out of the market to handle funds themselves, the government heavily fines them, thus locking them in. After the 2008 crash and bailout, no individual investor was helped, but the institutions were saved to further squander their trusting shareholders' potential. Is greed at the top the cause for so much loss? Have insatiable rats overtaken the ship? If so, it is sad. I think they used to say, "abandon ship!"

Timothy Clancy

West Seneca

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Vendors must be open for market to survive

On the way home from work one Friday afternoon, I stopped by the Broadway Market with the intent on purchasing some goodies. The hours of operation by the doors said the market was open from 8 to 5. It was 4:15. Upon walking into the market, I was met with a majority of the stands closed. I went in for horseradish, a couple of coffee cakes and some other impulse purchases. What I walked out with was disappointment.

One stand made its own hours of operation 9 to 4, which I'm guessing many others did as well. I know everyone likes to blame the city for not caring about the market, or taking real control of it, but I think some of the blame should be shared with the tenants. Here I am, ready, willing and able to buy, and while the market was open, most vendors were not. I'm not sure how a business can run and survive if it is not open when the market is.

Michael Miszewski

Depew

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Flight 3407 families are not going away

I am a member of the Flight 3407 memorial family group, and a contributing member to the select group of people who have taken more than 48 trips from Buffalo to Washington, D.C., spent thousands of dollars and countless hours of personal time to lobby the Federal Aviation Administration and attended committees with safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board. We have appealed to safety committees and lawmakers who are concerned and involved with airline safety and regulation. We have also met with President Obama, who has signed new airline safety regulations into law.

Today we are faced with these ugly, outrageous realities:

We ask our finest men and women air crews to perform without professional airline training.

Corporations do not pay air crews a fair wage for their enormous responsibilities.

Corporate profits trump publicsafety.

13,000 regional aircraft fly daily with new safety requirements not in place.

Airline corporation lobbyists are attempting to stop or water down air safety regulations.

A 27-week-old unborn child in an airline fatality is not considered a life in the publicly printed casualty loss count and courts.

Contrary to 27 sister states, New York State does not recognize or provide awards for accidental death of unborn child fatalities.

51 lives were lost in the Flight 3407 crash -- one baby and 49 adults on the flight and one adult on the ground.

As members of the 3407 group fighting for new air safety regulations clearly set by the NTSB, we are not going away! We as a group, along with the American voter and the ballot box, can effect change. We are looking for and demanding new and enlightened leadership from our elected officials.

James L. Neill

Clarence

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Baker Victory Services provides essential help

We were saddened to read about opposition to plans by Baker Victory Services to replace its outdated residential treatment center with a modern, safer facility. This wonderful agency serves families from across Western New York, providing loving, compassionate and professional care for young people who are working hard to overcome trauma and mental illness. The recent, tragic suicides of two high school students in our region should be a wake-up call for all adults. Please support the work of Baker Victory Services, and make sure that our young people can get help when they need it most.

Joseph and Marianna Brennan

East Amherst

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Restore buying power to the other 99 percent

Class warfare is part of life. Conflicting economic interests are inherent in human existence. A major purpose of government is to ensure that this warfare is not literal -- that it doesn't involve physical violence and all the hatred and horrible, long-lasting consequences that spiral out from widespread violence.

Government prevents violence and chaos by balancing out the conflicting economic interests of individuals and classes of individuals. In recent decades, government has failed as the rich have gotten richer, the bottom has begun falling out from under the middle class and the poor cope with increasing hopelessness.

To quote radio talk show host Thom Hartmann, "The top 1 percent is taking in more money today than at any other time in this nation since the 1920s. And we all know what followed the 1920s -- a Great Depression. The 99 percent is fed up -- and now the time has come to do something about it."

President Obama and Congress need to become engaged in the class war in a constructive way that rebalances the trajectory of our country, avoids violence and seeks justice. To fund prosperity, they need to spread the wealth in order to rebuild the purchasing power of the 99 percent of our population that spends most of the money it earns and thus drives the economy and creates jobs.

The rich, and the right-wingers who foolishly protect their interests, are whining about class warfare. Given their complete domination in the class war, this is laughable. I say it's time for the rest of us to make our move. Let's bring it on and make it as quick, fair, peaceful and painless as possible.

Bill Nowak

Buffalo