Readers write: FIFA reform is essential; migrant workers; 'demand' for cheap goods

Letters to the editor for the Jan. 25, 2016 weekly magazine.

Ruben Sprich/Reuters/File
A FIFA sign is seen outside FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

FIFA should support all levels  
The Jan. 18 Monitor’s View “A firmer footing for ‘football’ ” refers to the fact that, despite revelations of extensive corruption at FIFA, soccer continues to grow in popularity. In order to protect the integrity of a sport that is enjoyed by so many, immediate and radical reform at FIFA is essential. It’s estimated that FIFA currently spends just 20 percent of its income on soccer development. FIFA must utilize its vast resources to encourage more people to play soccer. That means providing better playing conditions and ensuring the availability of well-qualified coaches at all levels.
Alistair Budd

Migrants and the local economy
Regarding “The tillers’ advocates” in the Dec. 28, 2015 & Jan. 4, 2016, cover story, “Out of the dark,” on human trafficking: The issue is not that the employer is paying less than minimum wage, but that the Haitian worker is likely undocumented and will never collect on any of what is withheld – no refund on taxes, no Medicare, no Social Security benefits.
This is one more injustice for migrants, who generally contribute more to our system than they take out. Unfortunately, most of this “benefit” to the system goes to the federal side, with most of the cost (such as medical care) borne by state or local organizations, leaving a false impression that undocumented migrants are a “cost,” even as they contribute to the local economy.
Linda Laskowski
Berkeley, Calif.

Your cover story on human trafficking was irritating. Americans never “demanded” cheap goods. The policies that gave us cheap goods – free trade, globalization, and mass immigration – were concocted by economists, politicians, and big business. And as we experienced the evisceration of American manufacturing jobs, local economies, and small family businesses, these policies were highly unpopular. The American consumer, after three decades of stagnant wages as the middle class has shrunk, is responding like consumers all over the world – trying to maximize their shrinking wages.
Jonette Christian
Holden, Maine

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