Capitalism and hard work made America wealthy, not the Fed

Regarding the Aug. 21 article, "Fed reduces recession threat": I guess we Americans should be thankful that we have the Fed to guide our economic lives. And along with that, thankful for our vast federal government. For if not for them, we'd all be living in caves. I'd like to read an article that gives credit where it's due – the American people and capitalism. We are not the wealthiest nation in history because of the Fed. Rather, we wake up every morning and go to work. We compete to find ways to increase productivity and quality in providing products and services as if our incomes depend on it – and they do.

Just who benefits from an expansionary launch of the economy? Debtors – corporations and government itself – which can pass higher costs (caused by inflation) to consumers. Who gets hurt by the blast from the launch? Yes, the savers get burned, followed by the poor and elderly stuck on fixed incomes. And who gets hurt by the landing? Apparently everyone. Why not print an article explaining why Americans must live in a nominal economic state wherein we cannot calculate the real value of money in relation to that which we purchase?
Mike Wickerham
Certified financial planner
Macomb, Mich.

Proper funding needed, not preschool

As a preschool educator in California, I feel compelled to comment on Alexandra Starr's Aug. 21 Opinion piece, "Free preschool will help Latinos and US." I wanted to point out that the writer failed to mention the government's Head Start preschool program that has been operating in every state since 1964. Head Start is a child-focused program and has the overall goal of increasing the school readiness of young children in low-income families.

I live and teach in a small community with a high Latino population and have seen children who are often 18 months behind others in school. I also see teachers who are trying to give children the best education while dealing with classrooms of up to 40 students, no books, and no budget for supplies. School buildings around California are in need of repair, and we are constantly being told there's no budget. I feel California must find the funding to improve our present state of affairs before we add preschool to the Department of Education's budget.
Mari Hubert
Graeagle, Calif.

Programs that help kids apply to college

The Aug. 23 article, "Cracking the college code," is good as far as it goes in discussing programs to help students facing family or other problems navigate the college application process. The National College Access Network, headquartered in Cleveland, has been developing and encouraging these programs for years. Here in Virginia, Nicole Hurd at the University of Virginia developed a very effective program, with funding from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, that places college graduates in high schools with a high percentage of free- and reduced-price lunch students and others who might not otherwise think seriously about college.

The two high schools where I work on scholarship issues with students have large nonwhite populations. Many of these students arrived in the US in time to go to high school but not to master the admissions and financial aid maze. With the help of College Guides (from the UVA program) and people working for local scholarship funds, more of these students have an opportunity to try college. Most show determination, and some excel. I'm sure there are other programs around the country that bear watching, too.
Dale R. Schmidt
Alexandria, Va.

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