Your article on Tibet's future provides welcome visibility to an important topic for Asia's future [Tibet's Next Incarnation, Oct. 10]. But it fails to mention the practical models envisioned by the Dalai Lama and the government-in-exile of how Tibet may arrange its further existence politically and institutionally. The most promising model, based on an example used in northern Italy, would establish regional autonomy for Tibet within the national borders of China. It is important to let people know there are concrete and proven models of how to move the situation in Tibet forward, and that the new heads of the government-in-exile are not dreamers, but have realistic ideas of pacification and cooperation. It is up to China to show its good will and put forth its hand to go on from here.
Roland Benedikter, PALO ALTO, CALIF., U.S.
The idea that, upon the Dalai Lama's death, the "Free Tibet" movement could regain new momentum and new strength is pure wishful thinking. Much more likely is that Beijing will take the opportunity to annex Tibet and ignore any attempt at liberation and independent statehood. The speculation will be that any outcry over human rights will not affect China's standing in the world, which, at any rate, is built on a poor human-rights record.
Karl H. Pagac, VILLENEUVE-LOUBET, FRANCE
The Missing Middle Class
Thanks to Jeffrey Sachs for "Why America Must Revive Its Middle Class" [Oct. 10]. What should be a key issue leading up to the 2012 election the loss of the middle class and the rise of poverty has barely been mentioned in three Republican primary debates. A nation so extremely divided along the lines of rich and poor cannot long endure. Selfishness and greed divide us; 365-days-a-year compassion unites us. Giving tax cuts to the rich while cutting spending for vital social programs is a recipe for social and economic upheaval, in addition to being a morally and spiritually bankrupt solution.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., LOUISVILLE, KY., U.S.
How depressing to know that Sachs' exhortation to Congress to start having serious discussions about how to fund our nation's future competitiveness will go absolutely nowhere. No one in Washington has the fortitude or vision to do what it will take to make our middle class strong again (and I say this as a registered Democrat). Politicians are all too beholden to the special interests that fund their re-election. I fear it will take our own version of the Arab Spring to enact the changes we will need. Until then, I guess we can all just eat cake.
Jeanne Andrews, PHILADELPHIA
The best way for America to revive its middle class is to restructure its federal government by eliminating or combining a layer of government. That way waste can be reduced and tax savings can be returned to its people. Restructuring is very common in private corporations. Why can't it be done in the government?
Linda Hsu, HONG KONG
The One-a-Day Racket
Congratulations to John Cloud for exposing the idiocy of the "nutraceutical" business and recommending the only effective way to stay healthy: eat right [Nutrition in a Pill? Oct. 10]. I just wished he had put more emphasis on the dangers of megadose supplements. Vitamins are drugs. They affect chemical processes in the body. All drugs have to be taken at proper doses or they are toxic.
Cynthia J. MacKay, M.D., NEW YORK CITY
At 80, I chop wood and do all the yard work on our .4-hectare property. I believe the dollar or two I paid for daily supplements has proved to be money well spent.
Lew Weick, WASHINGTON, ILL., U.S.
Voice of the Heartland
Joe Klein is right that the Midwest wants compromise, because compromise is the way to achieve balance when two sides are so far apart [Stuck in the Middle, Oct. 10]. Successful marriages and businesses are built on this simple principle. But until we see a return to the separation of church and state, until the population stops getting its information from vitriolic talk-show hosts instead of investigative reporters and until the Internet and social media stop fueling a culture of incivility, I'm afraid the nation will be doomed to swing back and forth between the extremes and the extremists.
James Plath, BLOOMINGTON, ILL., U.S.
While the essays emerging from Klein's road trip have offered excellent peeks into the political climate of smaller-town America, I was disappointed to find that they nonetheless retain his distinctly liberal viewpoints. His comparison of the size of presidential missteps (Obama's "snowballs" to George W. Bush's "avalanches") and labeling of Michele Bachmann as an "extremist" were subtle examples of the political polarization his article attempted to highlight.
Bryan McLean, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., U.S.
Too Easy on Turkey
I am very puzzled over the fact that in the interview with Recep Tayyip Erdogan [10 Questions, Oct. 10], the interviewer avoided important Turkish matters, such as the independence of the Kurds and the recognition of the Armenian genocide. After all, the Palestinian problem is not a main Turkish affair.
Ernest Stein, ANTWERP, BELGIUM