CEOs gone bad are more than 'ethical' problems

I was struck by the language used in, "CEOs: Back to Ethical Basics" (July 2, editorial), and in your lead story from the same issue.

Executives are said to have "strayed from the straight and narrow," or to have suffered "management misdeeds," or that, "factors may have led them into ethical trouble."

Ethical trouble? Is that how we describe those whose actions deprive thousands of people of jobs, of retirement incomes, of basic security? Do the consequences of severe stress in countless families matter so little? Would the same words be used to describe a drug dealer (oh, he just wasn't "strong enough to resist the temptations")?

I don't believe the crimes of the privileged require a special vocabulary. These CEOs have committed real crimes that do real damage to real people. They deserve no special treatment, verbal or otherwise.
D. E. Philip
Newburyport, Mass.

India's woes lie at Congress Party's feet

Regarding Arundhati Roy's article, "Listen to the nonviolent poor" (July 5, Opinion).

Ms. Roy refers to the, "destructive right-wing fundamentalists that have brought us to a threshold of ruin." The truth is that the economic progress of India has improved remarkably over the past several years under the BJP government.

She seems to imply the Congress Party is a better alternative. Let us not forget it is the economic policies of the Congress Party – the party that had the mantle of power for most of India's post independence era – that have made the country so impoverished.

The issue of building dams is always controversial, but I believe for India to have a sustainable source of water and to generate electricity, we have to build dams. For a country whose agriculture output is unpredictable due to the whims of the weather, such construction will enable us to have sustained agricultural output and help feed the hungry.
Anne Srini
San Francisco

How to help third-world farmers

Regarding "Africa's blueprint for recovery" (June 27): Trade as a means of strengthening any poor country is a double-edged sword. Ideally it can be a way of obtaining necessary goods and services a country can't produce for itself. But if the powerful take resources such as land from the poor to produce exports (often luxury products such as canned peaches) and if they move to control the means of production, the marginalized are shut out of the economic loop, leaving them poorer than ever.

More poor farmers sell out because they must purchase seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides to go with the "improved" variety of crops. They sometimes have to compete with food imports from wealthier countries. People go hungry in the midst of plenty. Sustainable, inclusive development is one key to a strong country.
Betty Neville Michelozzi
Aptos, Calif.

Higher tuitions call for students to work

Regarding "More ready for college, fewer able to pay" (June 27) about the difficulty of attending college due to the sharp rise in cost: My nephew did not have the means to attend college so he worked until he had the money. When the money ran out he again worked and saved until he could return.

He also found work at the college while he was attending. It took him six years to complete his college courses. I believe doing it the hard way made him a better citizen. His success is available to anyone with the determination and the motivation to persevere. An education achieved in this way will be more highly valued by the individual who will follow his dream despite hardship.

Here is a challenge for today's young people: Life is not easy but it can be rewarding if we are willing to accept the challenge.
Charlotte D. Hamon
Utica, N.Y.

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