Readers write: Trade in TPP, changing schools, true neighbor

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 31, 2016 weekly magazine.

Alfredo Sosa/Staff
Student Manny Aponte works with teacher Holly Knowles on some math problems in his 6th grade class at Gilbert Stuart Middle School on June 2, 2016 in Providence, R.I.

Trade in TPP

I read with interest the Aug. 8 cover story, “The truth about US manufacturing.” It was good to know that Shelby, N.C., which had lost so many jobs as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement, now has foreign companies investing in the area.

However, I disagree with calling the Trans-Pacific Partnership a free trade agreement. There is very little about trade in the pact. It is mostly a tool for multinational corporations to disregard the laws of their host countries. Any law or regulation that interferes with their profit can be disregarded. It also provides for a secret tribunal for companies to take their host country to court, with the probability they would win huge settlements. Corporate lawyers will be the judges, there is no right of appeal, and countries will not get access to the tribunal. The average US worker will be greatly harmed by the TPP.

Donna Mummery

Whanganui, New Zealand

Changing schools

Regarding the Sept. 19 Focus article, “Fighting truancy: one caring person”: The piece admirably gives a snapshot of the student truancy crisis in the United States. I would respectfully urge educators at all levels to tackle a question that’s never been asked in American education: What would school have to be like for every student to want to be there? Finding answers could radically change the way schools operate and make them places where all children would want to be.

Lawrence B. Schlack

Kalamazoo, Mich.

True neighbor

Thank you for the inspiring Aug. 8 People Making a Difference article about Hannah Schwartz. Ms. Schwartz is an example of caring and neighborliness. It was heartwarming and refreshing to read of the care being given to the individuals and families at Heartbeet Lifesharing. It’s something that money can’t buy.

Robin Pryor Blake

Davis, Calif.

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