November 23, 2012

Phylyp Wagner’s Nov. 17 Free for All response [“A cartoon hits a nerve”] to Clay Bennett’s Nov. 10 “Election Night” cartoon [Drawing Board] prompted this normally inert writer to weigh into the debate.

Like Wagner, I, too, started a small business. Over 25 years, as this business grew larger and more profitable, I learned that the personnel I hired, trained and developed were the main reason for its success.

As the founding owner, I earned a higher salary than my employees, even though bonus arrangements provided some with higher incomes. I provided health-care benefits, as well as a retirement plan and other benefits that encouraged people to remain with my firm. Eventually, I sold my business to a few of my employees, who continued to grow the company.

In the end, I’ve learned that being successful isn’t about growing egos or bulging bank accounts; it’s about hiring and developing employees so that they become committed to your business and to your customers. It’s time to recall, especially during the holidays, that even Ebenezer Scrooge learned that one is much happier when he shares, rather than hoards, his money and talent.

H. S. Meade Gwinn, Manassas

In Clay Bennett’s cartoon, there is only one person not working. So who are the “makers” and who is the “taker”?

Cyndy Martin,

Charlottesville

Regarding Clay Bennett’s political cartoon:

First, it’s a cartoon.

Second, that wealthy man is an employer, not a benefactor. He has hired house staff to perform services, and they have agreed to be in his hire in return for monetary (and possibly other) compensation. His staff may be thankful to have a job, but he is no more altruistic for hiring them than they are for working for him.

Third, the presidential candidate who delineated class warfare in our country was Mitt Romney, not President Obama. In fact, he did this very specifically, down to the exact percentage. Unlike his Republican rivals, Mr. Obama campaigned on a platform of inclusion.

Asher Roth, Broadlands