Guilty public workers get unfairly light sentences

Regarding the Dec.1 story, “Former Galloway Township employee pleads guilty to theft”:

A Galloway Township administrative assistant who was caught and pleaded guilty to stealing almost $7,000 from a summer camp program just pays restitution and gets probation. I’ve seen police officers in municipalities charged with DWI getting away with the same probation deals.

If the woman had embezzled the money from a bank and it was more than $950, that would be grand theft with a one to three year prison sentence. For DWI, the sentence varies and is harsh, not probation.

Why are public employees getting off so light?

They can steal, get caught, and just pay it back, cry for the judge and give up their jobs. A shoplifter stealing to eat is sentenced harder.

Brent Metzger

Egg Harbor City

Social, environmental factors drive economy

Several times during this recent tax debate, I’ve heard senators speak about the GDP, or gross domestic product. I’ve seen it called “the best way to measure a country’s economy.” This is very debatable. The GDP was designed for World War II tracking, and was never designed to indicate quality of life.

The GDP increases with polluting activities and again with clean up. It takes no account of income distribution or the country’s debt. So I think the more pollution the higher the GDP, and that the GDP treats crime, divorce, war and natural disasters as economic gains.

A better indicator, one that has been around since the 1950s, is the GPI or genuine progress indicator. It includes more than 20 aspects of people’s economic lives that the GDP ignores, including income distribution, family and community, natural habitat, resource depletion, volunteer work, and underemployment.

While the GDP makes it looks like the country is doing fine economically, the reverse is true for the GPI. Many are suffering and having already wealthy politicians throw money at the wealthy corporations while destroying the safety net for those in need is not the answer. The GDP is falsely allowing the rich and powerful elite who run the country to be able to justify continuing their way of doing things, which does not benefit society as a whole.

Susan Lazarchick

Mays Landing