Catching up on the globalization debate
Regarding your Nov. 6 editorial, "This election's missed debate": The problem with global competition in wages and goods is that nobody seems willing or able to discuss the real issue – poor educational systems. Better-educated Americans can be innovative, instead of waiting for someone to find them an employment niche.
We are the nation that invented itself and was the center of so many businesses. But over the years, our level of education did not rise to meet the growing levels of education in the rest of the world, and we are now stuck in between.
There's a reason that the US has fallen behind other developed nations in math and science literacy. And there's a price for that also: American workers who aren't quite as well educated as their counterparts in Europe or Asia.
I read your Nov. 6 editorial about the problem of global competition as a missed issue in the midterm elections. Do you really think the problem lies only with blue-collar workers for whom you think "retraining" is the answer to job loss from globalization? Don't you understand that everyone is now affected? I'm an electrical engineer, and my salary flattened out more than 10 years ago. My standard of living has slipped so much that plumbers and electricians now make more than I do. I spent a fortune getting an engineering degree for a career I thought would last a lifetime. Oops! I would not recommend that anyone go into this field anymore.
Globalization is a joke. It's nothing more than a way for the rich to get richer. It benefits no one but the corporations and their stewards and takes advantage of the worker bees in every country. I'm happy to see that some countries are realizing that they've been sold a false bill of goods and are pushing back. I call on you as journalists: Don't be afraid to stand up and say that globalization is a failure.
Don't limit unions' political activity
Bob Williams's Nov. 6 Opinion piece, "For unions, a Supreme test of fairness," discusses ideas about union dues being used for political activity. He says that individuals' affiliations should trump unions' affiliations. I was disappointed that he forgot to address unions' concerns – namely, to provide the most effective contracts for their members.
Mandating a union to keep silent about its concerns is surely something we would not require of individuals or corporations. Companies aren't required to get permission from their employees or their investors before engaging in political activity. So in what spirit is it to limit political participation?
Regarding the Nov. 2 article, "Extinction of an American icon": I own a restaurant in Baltimore and have a 30-foot pink flamingo on the front of the building. I have always enjoyed pink flamigos, even though we never had one in our yard.
I run Honfest in Hampden, a neighborhood of Baltimore. The festival pays tribute to the people and culture of this city. The winner of the "Baltimore's best hon" pageant always gets a pair of pink flamingos. It is one of the prizes that is most enjoyed when it's presented to the winner. I will mourn the loss of the "pinkus plasticus," as I call these lawn ornaments. But I am sure the creation will rise again like the phoenix from the fire. Let's pray that the mold for the flamingos gets sold to a firm that will understand the true treasure that the flamingos are.
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.