Letters

Prince Charles won't imperil democracy by voicing his opinion

I couldn't help but chuckle at Brendan O'Neill's March 6 Opinion piece, "Prince Charles should keep political proclivities to himself." Obviously the prince has the desire to express his mind-set on contemporary issues, such as the abuse of human rights in Tibet by the communist government in Beijing, his admiration for Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama; and Britain's horrific concrete architectural structures reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution. Surely a majority of Britons would endorse the prince's views without feeling their democracy in peril.

But Mr. O'Neill is right when he comments on the lack of ardor in British politics today. However, O'Neill does not relish the thought that it is the Prince of Wales who is injecting life's blood into the political debate in Britain. But I am sure the Brits can overlook this "trespass" by Prince Charles and still have a dynamic constitutional monarchy.
Robert A. Vieites
Miami

Immigration increases income inequality

Regarding the March 6 article, "What a new 'gilded age' may bring": Professors Edward Wolff and Benjamin Friedman seem to say that one of the bad consequences of rising income inequality is that it is causing Americans to want to limit immigration. In fact, it has been the quadrupling of annual legal immigration since the 1960s that is contributing to the income inequality.

That is what happened in the Gilded Age: Robber barons used mass immigration to depress most American wages and succeeded in creating the unequal economic conditions that we are paralleling today during a similar wave of mass immigration.

Restricting immigration numbers to traditional levels was one of the tools that broke the robber barons' hold on Americans - and such restriction would bring similarly good results today.
Roy Beck
Arlington, Va. President, NumbersUSA Education and Research Foundation

Meeting all kids' needs in education

I read the March 3 article, "Dropout rates high, but fixes under way." I am the alternative education director of a suburban area outside Detroit. We have roughly 300 students.

One thing we do that no other school that I'm aware of does is offer group counseling daily. I think the students engage in school and work harder on their academics because they have an emotional outlet. We also focus on nontraditional instruction that lets kids spend more time on the subjects in which they need to improve.
Michelle Irwin
Mount Clemens, Mich.

I strongly believe that reform of our public schools must begin first, with the student and, second, with the parents. In my more than 30 years of teaching (albeit at the college level), I have known numerous students who succeeded because they wanted to learn, and others who also succeeded because their parents wished them to and took active part in their efforts.

Parents who take their young people from school for vacation time only reinforce the idea that school is not important.
Don Barnes
Spokane, Wash.

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 our website, 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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