Readers Write: There is life after retirement; Political finance is a bipartisan issue

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 13, 2014 weekly magazine:

Weeden: Just because people retire doesn't mean they can't contribute to society

Mcintire: Political finance is an issue we should all be worried about

Susan Walsh/AP/File
Cornell Woolridge of Windsor Mill, Md., demonstrates outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Oct. 8, 2013.

There is life after retirement

Regarding the Sept. 15 Monitor’s View editorial “In aging societies, redefining ‘old’ ”: Ros Altmann is right when she says, “Too many people retire when they are still capable of making a strong contribution.” That isn’t the whole picture, however. It suggests that retirees step into lesser lives, when in fact many make strong, if different, contributions after leaving the formal economy. They go forward toward something they have dreamed about. They aren’t always pushed into negligible lives.

As governments and businesses move away from providing social and cultural services, many retirees step in to provide those services. Retirees volunteer at nonprofits, help build libraries or performing arts spaces, and care for those with disabilities. Many retirees move from a job where their skills are replaceable to a niche where they can make different, largely irreplaceable, contributions.

Bob Weeden
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia 

Political finance is a bipartisan issue 

I’m glad to see the Sept. 10 D.C. Decoder article “Why Ted Cruz channeled Dana Carvey on Senate floor” covering legislation that would combat the influence of money in politics
 (CSMonitor.com). Across the country, many voters, both Republican and Democratic, believe there is too much money in politics and that decisions like Citizens United were wrong. 

This article perhaps contributes to the sense of polarization, when there are serious issues for the future of our democracy that deserve to be brought forward. Those issues go beyond money to the more basic flaw of declaring that corporations are people. The proposed bill’s amendment to the Constitution would not lessen the protections of the Bill of Rights; rather, it is an attempt to preserve the protections of the Bill of Rights for living, breathing citizens by removing the dominance of corporations and dollars from our elections.

Jerry McIntire
Viroqua, Wis.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.