Letters

Identity over federal taxes for Puerto Ricans

Regarding the Dec. 23 editorial "Taking Puerto Rico Out of Limbo": Being a state would mean Puerto Rico would be the poorest state in the nation, earning a per capita income almost half that of the current poorest state, Mississippi. In Latin America, however, Puerto Rico has one of the highest per capita incomes.

That isn't the reason that we don't want to pay taxes. Puerto Rico is uniquely Spanish. It would be the only Spanish state in the nation. We have our own Olympic teams, our own culture and heritage, but little by little that culture is getting washed away by a desire of the statehooders and American corporate heads to homogenize the island.

That is the main reason why Puerto Ricans are still opposed to being a state: loss of identity.
Victor Rivera
Tampa, Fla.

In your editorial you mentioned that Puerto Ricans cannot vote to elect the president of the United States. Puerto Ricans living in the US, such as I, do vote for president. As your editorial indicated, the island is not subject to federal taxes, hence legal residents of the island cannot vote for president or Congress. It goes to the issue of "no taxation without representation."

The bigger issue, however, is the status of Puerto Rico. I hope that Puerto Rico remains a commonwealth. Reality, however, tells me that its days as such are numbered.
David Lopez
Madison, Wis.

Holiday gifts from the heart

Heartfelt thanks for "Simple toys, simple joys" (Dec. 24). I thought I was the only one who looked to Christmases past for inspiration.

The real joy of the season had nothing to do with the number of presents that I received or their value. Store-bought items lack meaning and sparkle. I would rather have a gift given from the heart.

My most precious Christmas memories involve being with loved ones. Although I cannot be with family and friends now that I live in England, that didn't stop me from feeling connected to dear ones. I had the best Christmas ever by just being able to phone my family and friends in the US to express my love - the greatest gift of all.
Terri Meehan
London

Returning to a 'simpler path'

Regarding the Dec. 16 article "Still not having it all": In the movie "Mona Lisa Smile," Julia Roberts's character teaching at Wellesley in 1953 gets it right in deciding on marriage instead of Yale Law School.

Aren't women naturally more inward mentally than outward; more inclined toward reflection; more comfortable at home than on the road; more interested in relationships than in deals?

So for young women to feel pushed to "balance" both career and family simultaneously in the name of liberty puts them on a collision course with nature that fuels the current dearth of romance, incites domestic friction if not dysfunction, and promotes gender confusion.

Women need to claim the "equal place at the table with men" that is already theirs. When women's family-building work at home and men's work abroad are recognized as equally valuable to the scheme of things, when children are cherished, and material things are only incidental, women will feel the substance of their standing as homemakers and more patiently anticipate the coming inevitable opportunity to resume their own work.

And when the kind of time-bound, forward-jamming pace of people about their business abates, the simpler path for young women, and young men, will reappear.
Dee Treacy Babcock
Boston

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Any letter accepted will appear in print and on www.csmonitor.com .

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to Letters .

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