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Readers write: Laws about wages in the US, kindness in the face of intolerance, and progress in agriculture

Letters to the editor for the Jan. 28, 2019 weekly magazine.

Markus Schreiber/AP
Refugees line up for a train to Munich at the train station of the south German border town Passau, Germany, Sept. 15, 2015.

Laws about wages in the US

I found the Oct. 15 cover story, “Faces of a new capitalism,” very interesting indeed. It was well written and easy to understand. 

I’m not truly politically minded, more of an independent, but I do read the signs of the times. 

My one question would be, why is it not feasible to make a law that businesses must pay a living wage to employees, according to the area they live in? A conservative told me that this would just send costs up and businesses could not compete with each other. 

But perhaps a business should not exist if it cannot perform morally. It seems to me to be totally immoral to pay someone a wage for a full week’s work that they cannot live on. 

Would it be possible to address this issue, please?

Auriel Wyndham Livezey

Lake Forest, Calif.

Kindness in the face of intolerance

Many thanks for sharing the Nov. 19 Home Forum essay, “Bystander training.” Reading this piece once was not enough. 

The first reading stunned me with the beautiful outcome of moral courage shown by those who stood up for a stranger. 

The mental picture brought about by writer Catharina Coenen’s phrase “white hand on brown skin” made it difficult to read through tears, as did the rest of the essay. 

This snapshot of the goodness of humanity that can be found in the world drew me back to the last five paragraphs of the essay a few more times. 

I just didn’t want to let go of the joy this brought me. There’s so much kindness around. It’s good to be looking for it throughout our days. I wonder what difference it made in the life of that young man and the man who was expressing intolerance. My hope is that it helped both men.

The essay made me ask myself, would I be as brave as those passengers who stood up for love and right?   

Judith Quimby

Grants Pass, Ore.

Progress in agriculture

Regarding the Nov. 16 Monitor Daily article “Fertilize by drone, till by text: Making tech work for Africa’s farmers”: I love this report, since I visited Ghana often when I worked for Goodyear International in the early 1970s while based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. 

Glad to read of the progress in the agriculture sector. This story took me back. 

Bob Whittlesey

Spokane, Wash.

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