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Singletons on the Rise

I was surprised that in "One and Done," Lauren Sandler barely mentioned the absence of siblings, brushing off the topic with a comment about "not necessarily missing what I don't have" [July 19]. As one of five siblings, I find it hard to imagine not having the range of emotions and experiences my brothers and sisters brought to bear on my existence. I look forward to having them around to remind me of where I came from, long after my parents are gone.

Phil Dailing, WOODSTOCK, ILL.

Thank you, TIME! I'm a parent of an only child, and I am so tired of hearing comments like "Oh, he must be lonely." I had a very difficult pregnancy and am so blessed to have my son. We are able to provide for his every need and give him our undivided attention, and we don't have to deal with sibling issues. (My husband and I both have siblings.) People choose to have one child for a variety of reasons; the choice should be respected. Do you go up to the woman with four kids and say, "Geez, when will you start using birth control?"

Andrea Lerum, DEFOREST, WIS.

What supermarket is Sandler shopping at? I am a supermarket cashier and union member. We do not earn minimum wage. We earn a little better than $20 an hour.

Kim Green, ALAMEDA, CALIF.

Though Elvis Presley did grow up an only child, his situation differed from typical onlies in that he had a twin who was stillborn after his birth. His brother's death haunted him throughout his life.

David Meyer, ANN ARBOR, MICH.

I will quickly tell you the strengths of my big family: the camaraderie, the give and take, the lifelong friendships. But I will also tell you the challenges: the chaos, the paucity of alone time with each child, the hurdles to help each develop into a unique self. Sandler's piece would have benefited from acknowledging there are downsides to not having siblings and upsides to a full house.

Sarah Nielsen, WESTON, MASS.

Take the U.S.A. Train

As you suggest in "All Aboard?" faster trains are a great idea, but it will be hard to persuade Americans to get out of their cars as long as driving is subsidized [July 19]. We give tax breaks to oil companies and build roads with taxes. If we eliminate car subsidies, fast trains will fly.

Charles E. Wilson, WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.

Michael Grunwald makes the antiautomobile bias of his article clear at the outset with the question "Is a car-crazed nation ready to add rails to the mix?" The nation is not car-crazed. A strong, fact-based case can be made that for most personal trips, the private car is the best choice. Cars are most often the cheapest, least time-consuming, most flexible and, with point-to-point specificity, most practical form of transportation.

William Bowen, SALT LAKE CITY

I look forward to the time when our country once again has modern and extensive rail service to rival the deteriorating air age.

Roger F. Moran, HOBE SOUND, FLA.

Beyond the World Cup

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