Letters to the Editor

Readers write about Middle East minorities, organic farming, causes of inflation, and immigration-status verification.

Middle East is more diverse than Arabs and Muslims

Regarding the July 22 article, "Barack who? Arabs weigh in.": I believe that the reaction of other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East, to American elections is extremely relevant material for journalists. However, I feel that this description of the Middle East and of Arabs in general is not really accurate or fair. For instance, the article explains that there are numbers of Arabs, Iranians, and Jews, but neglects to mention the Christians and Kurds who form minorities that further complicate Middle Eastern affairs.

The Christian minority in Lebanon is a major part of that ongoing conflict, while Kurdish ethnosecessionism is a major bone of contention for Turkey.

Although Arabs are a very large component of the Middle East, they are not the only part, and I think that it is a disservice to those who read this article not to include at least a few non-Arab points of view.

It is important for Americans not to have their views of the Middle East, Arabs, and Islam oversimplified as they go to the polls this November, as many of us will try to cast a vote for the best chance of peace in the Middle East.

Megan Jones
Bridgewater, N.J.

The benefits of organic, domestic food

Regarding the July 15 article, "New pressures drive US farmers south of the border": I read that these farmers are moving to Mexico and Brazil to escape tougher environmental and safety regulations and employ below-minimum-wage labor now that immigration laws have tightened. This is all the more reason to buy shares in local organic farming, which maintains quality and safety practices and stems the flood of labor moving to other countries.

Katy Michel
Portland, Ore.

Fed, not oil prices, causes inflation

In response to the July 17 article, "Inflation surge puts Fed in a quandary": As Milton Friedman taught, "Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon." The only way inflation can surge is if the central bank creates more money than an economy needs.

The article blames inflation on high oil prices filtering through to the rest of the economy. This ill-advised logic is a classic example of using partial equilibrium analysis to explain the general nature of the economy. While the partial analysis explaining that high oil prices filter through to other goods and services is true, the part that is left out is that the high oil prices are a result of an expansion in the money supply.

Mike Wickerham
Macomb, Mich.

E-Verify is subject to abuse

In response to the July 7 article, "With E-Verify, too many errors to expand its use?": The narrative included in the story about E-Verify appalls me. It describes the way in which a naturalized citizen was immediately fired for coming up as a tentative nonconfirmation – and barred from returning to the plant to show his Social Security documentation.

This is patently against the rules of the memorandum of understanding that every employer has to agree to when enrolling in E-Verify.

Employees are supposed to have a set period of time to contest their nonconfirmation before they are terminated. Not only did the meatpacking business likely violate laws against discrimination, but they also violated the terms of E-Verify itself!

It just serves to highlight the potential for illegal abuses of the E-Verify system – abuses by the employers, not by the workers.

Elizabeth Venable
Los Angeles

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