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November 5, 2010 

Fewer counties could lower government costs

Counties were originally established in the days when transportation was furnished by horse and buggies, and it was considered important for people to be able to travel to the county seat in a convenient manner.

Today, however, we have an excellent highway system, modern automobiles and the Internet.

There are some 3,140 counties (or county equivalent administrative units) in our nation. I would like to propose that we look into the possibility of reducing the number of counties (and therefore county governments) to less than one-third of their present total. South Carolina, for example, has 46 counties, with an average population of 99,000, according to the 2000 census figures. Reducing the number of counties in our state to 16 would mean that each county would have an average population of under 300,000, certainly a practical figure.

The resulting scaling-down of county governments, made possible by today's excellent means of transportation, as well as the Internet, could yield tremendous savings in the overall cost of government, not only at the local level, but also at the state and even federal levels. It's worth looking into, don't you think?

To be sure, there would be loud and immediate objections to such an idea, both from sentimentalists and those motivated by political avarice, but these objections could be overcome. It is only a matter of time before it becomes increasingly apparent that something must be done to significantly lower the costs of government.

Dan Roper

Hilton Head Island

A lot of bull whispered, shouted on Hilton Head

I read with great interest and enjoyment the column on Daufuskie Island's "bull whisperer."

However, I question why it garnered above-the-fold banner headlines. Heck, about 90 percent of the folks I know on Hilton Head Island (myself included) are "bull whisperers." The other 10 percent shout it.

Hamp Greene

Hilton Head Island

Networks show bias in campaign donations

An analysis of political contributions made in 2008, found that 88 percent of contributions from 1,160 employees at the three major TV networks went to Democratic candidates and campaign committees.

What chance do their viewers have of learning about what is really going on in the political world? Several weeks ago, a letter writer commented about Republicans not having any solutions, of being the party of "no."

The left has always commented negatively about Fox News, the tea party, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and any other non-left commentators or news organizations. If you just listen to those three networks, what are the odds that you will know the political facts? Additionally, in the left's mind, if Fox News presents something negative but true about President Barack Obama, Fox is biased.

Did you know, for example, that the Oct. 2 rally in Washington was backed by La Raza, Code Pink and a multitude of socialistic and communist groups? One of the speakers was Van Jones, an acknowledged communist? I did not see anything about that in the national media.

There must be a reason that Fox News is clobbering the other networks in the ratings. If it weren't so serious, if the very essence of our country wasn't in danger, we could just ignore these uninformed partisans and write them off as political Luddites.

But they also have a stake in the future of this country and should not be so obtuse about sources of information. Opinions should be based on facts.

Bill Covell

Sun City Hilton Head

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