Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the need for manufacturing jobs in the US, why cap and trade policies won't help reduce harmful emissions, Somali piracy, and the benefits of driving a motorcycle instead of a car.

The US economy needs manufacturing – not government – jobs

Regarding the April 10 article, "10 ways the new economy will look different": It is really unfortunate that in comparing the present situation to the panic of 1873, the author of this article indicates that the new economy will be comprised of new jobs in government and healthcare. This is in sharp contrast to the years following the panic of 1873, in which the country became an export powerhouse. The US did not export government services, rather, the goods that were sold abroad consisted of manufactured items. This resulted in the creation of wealth.

Government jobs will continue to consume the wealth of the nation without a concomitant increase in capital. This is a prescription for more debt and continuing erosion of our standard of living. In the case of creating green jobs in order to build a new energy infrastructure, there are many who believe that the government's vision will be as myopic as the cure-all introduction of ethanol as a partial replacement for gasoline.

Ken Benes
Port Washington, N.Y.

Cap and trade is not the way to curb emissions

Regarding the April 13 Opinion piece, "Cap and trade is still the right call": Author Mark Lange's commentary on cap and trade as a panacea to the issue of greenhouse-gas emissions is specious in its premise. Taxing emissions will not do anything other than achieve an increase in taxes, which will be passed on to the consumer.

When India and China demonstrate that the smog over their cities has lifted, then the rest of us might consider reducing our carbon emissions.

Larry Wood
Palmer, Alaska

How should Somali piracy stories be covered?

In regard to the April 12 article, "Captain freed from pirates in daring rescue": Thank you for your latest reporting on piracy on Somali seas.

After reading other reports which end with violence and retribution, I'm grateful the Monitor ended its story by talking about what experts are saying about possible solutions.

Nathan Smith
Cambridge, Mass.

I have read that many Somali pirates are fishermen whose traditional fishing grounds have been contaminated by the unrestricted dumping of toxic waste by European business interests. If this is true, don't you think that in the interests of fair and complete journalism, each story about the Somali pirates ought to mention this?

After all, if it's true that the international community must unite in its response to piracy, isn't it equally valid to say the world community ought to address the unfairness of poisoning another country's waters?

In the absence of these journalistic precautions, I don't see how you or any news organization can lay claim to fair reportage in this instance.

Djelloul Marbrook
Germantown, N.Y.

Motorcycles: Another way to bike to work

In regard to the April 7 Opinion piece, "The soul (and sense) of biking to work": This commentary rightly celebrates the joys of cycling. However, the author fails to mention another two-wheeled mode of transport that provides a decent alternative to the ubiquitous automobile: motorcycles and scooters.

I've ridden motorcycles in England for over two decades. Compared to cars, motorcycles are environmentally sound and economical. They do not cause traffic snarls, can accommodate a passenger, and are easy to park in urban areas. Ridden responsibly and safely, motorcycles provide a practical, efficient, and reliable form of transport in both urban and non-urban areas.

Alistair Budd

The Monitor welcomes your letters. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must include your full name; your city, state, and country; and your telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear on our website, www.CSMonitor.com. E-mail letters to oped@csps.com. Or mail letters to Readers Write, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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