Road to Recovery
Re "What Recovery?" June 20: A strong middle class is the backbone of any country, and the U.S. desperately needs sensible economic policies that can rebuild the middle class and reduce its massive debt deficit. Failure to address these issues can only lead to strife as large corporations continue to amass wealth while individuals face an uphill struggle to make ends meet.
I loved it. Finally, the real truth about our economic decline appears in major media. Rana Foroohar's economic myth busting explains it all why multinationals don't hire in the U.S., why Keynesian stimulus no longer stimulates and how lopsided growth in the financial sector has hurt us. Yet she never actually arrives at the bottom-line cause and the professional economist's sacred cow: our naive acceptance of an unfettered free market.
James A. Cunningham,
Saratoga, Calif., U.S.
Re "Europe's Scared of the Spring," June 20: Since the North African population is so young and full of hope for the future, they could use their boundless energy to stay in North Africa and help their fathers build more democratic societies at home. They have a great chance, now that their dictators are falling one by one. Besides, there is no shortage of unemployed people in Europe.
Europe is not "scared" of the Arab Spring. It is simply concerned that cautious realism is being drowned by foolish hype as in calling "spring" something that started in December. Europeans would enthusiastically welcome a true spring of democracy in the Arab world, but they are concerned that the uprising might just as well lead to a winter of Islamism.
Europe does not like migrants who obviously do not want to integrate into the host societies but want to introduce Islamic law and habits into those countries.
I agree that some of our citizens coming from North Africa have to face racism, but we do welcome Muslims in Europe around 10% of our inhabitants are Muslim. It is thanks to the laïcité [secularism] concept that we have put an end to centuries of religious civil wars. Trying to impose religious rules or challenge the law from 1905 would be considered a step back to the Middle Ages.
I believe Carla Power misses the real point. Europe doesn't want to be flooded with Muslims because Europeans associate Muslims with terrorism. France and Germany opposed Turkey's admission to the European community at least partly because of this underlying fear.
Your article by Alice Park ["How to Stop the Superbugs," June 20] failed to mention one small detail: the loss that Spanish farmers have faced due to the unproven accusations by the Hamburg authorities concerning Spanish cucumbers. Full truckloads of not only cucumbers, but also sprouts and tomatoes, had to be destroyed by the farmers after the products were returned to southern Spain.
Behind U.S. Wind Power
In his article "Breezing In" [June 20], Erik Heinrich points out the discrepancy between what the American population wants and what is being done legislatively concerning the development of renewable energy. What a pity to hear that America's national energy policy depends on short-sighted, profit-oriented fossil-fuel lobbyists and their willing collaborators in Congress rather than environmentally aware politicians with a sense of responsibility for future generations.
Come a Little Closer
In your piece "A Playboy in Winter" [June 20], Catherine Mayer noted that Hugh Hefner is "certainly old, and his hearing is impaired; we sit knee to knee so that he can catch my questions." I think the seating arrangement may have had more to do with her knees than Hefner's hearing.