Readers write: 'Right to work and unions,' Taiwan's diplomacy with China

Letters to the editor for the April 29&27, 2015 issue of the weekly magazine.

M.P. King/Wisconsin State Journal/AP
Solidarity Singers protest right-to-work legislation in the rotunda at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., Monday.

‘Right to work’ and unions
Regarding the March 23 Briefing, “Behind the clash on ‘right to work’ ”: The article presented both sides of the issue. It states that union workers earn about $6,000 more than workers in states with right-to-work laws, and yet it also quotes an economist who says it is “very difficult to tell what the impact of a right-to-work law is.” What really caught my attention was the last paragraph, stating that some economists believe “it’s no coincidence that income inequality has been rising in America at the same time.” What is also no coincidence is that middle-class America has lost approximately $5,000 of purchasing power. The latter has everything to do with the oppressive governmental regulations and laws that stifle the free enterprise system, which creates jobs and thereby increases income levels. So while unions do have a place in certain environments, the right-to-work states, as is being proved in Wisconsin, will do much to address income inequality.
John Winton
Auburn, Calif.

Taiwan’s diplomacy with China
Regarding the March 23 online article “As China diplomacy twists in the wind, Taiwan’s students press for reform” ( The results of Taiwan’s local elections in November 2014 were caused by multiple factors rather than any single issue. The Taiwanese government strives to promote institutionalized negotiations across the Taiwan Strait to develop positive relations with mainland China based on the principle of putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people. These efforts have won the support of the majority of the people of Taiwan as well as the international community. The Taiwanese government’s mainland China policy is not “frustrated,” as stated in the article. The student protests of 2014 reflect the concerns of a segment of Taiwan’s society, as seen in any vibrant democracy. The Taiwanese government has listened to opinions and taken these into account. My government will continue to pursue establishing a foundation for sustainable peace.
John Chu
Director of information
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Boston

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