March 31, 2006

Letters to the Editor

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We must help the least of our brothers, sisters in the United States

This letter is in response to a letter writer in the March 10 issue of The Criterion.

I don’t know if the United States is responsible for feeding the children of the world or not. I think we are our brother’s keeper, so we probably should (be responsible).

I think the U.S. and all the developed countries can feed the children of the world, but don’t. Instead, the U.S. allows Japanese corporations to buy up our farmland, thus taking farms that have been in families for generations away from them. We pay farmers to not grow crops. How crazy is that?

I think every household in the U.S. with an income of less then $30,000 per year should receive food stamps: $150 for one person, $250 for two and $350 for three or more persons in the household.

This would stimulate our economy, much as the housing industry does. We would pay farmers to farm and keep their land and stimulate the various connecting industries, such as food processing, canning, labeling, shipping and marketing.

This would create and maintain jobs and put much-needed spending capital into the common man’s hands. The money he earns that is not spent on food would be used for housing, transportation, education and travel. What better win-win outcome is there than to “spend the wealth,” helping people to help themselves with a simple “hand up?”

I laugh at Wal-Mart. They want to encourage volunteerism and food-for-the-poor programs, but won’t pay their people a living wage, don’t offer affordable benefits and encourage their employees to apply for welfare, food stamps and Medicare.

Wouldn’t it just make sense to pay people enough to supply their own needs—plus giving them the free time and peace of mind to be volunteers—and eliminate the need for “handouts?”

-Mary Schott, Indianapolis


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