Readers Write (July 7): Immigration, orchestra, taxes, student loans, climate change

  • Updated: July 6, 2013 - 2:21 PM
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‘MELTING POT’

It still works in creating a rich American stew

I beg to differ with commentary writer Timothy Taylor on his haste to jettison two good analogies, melting pot and tossed salad, in favor of a bad one, chocolate fondue (“Beyond the melting pot,” June 30).

The best steel goes through the fire (around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and is mixed with other metals to make it strong and keep it from rusting. In my high school history classes, America was referred to as a tossed salad because many immigrants have retained a large part of their ethnic heritage.

I agree with Taylor that immigrants to this country are coated in America on the outside — like a fondue — even though they are all different on the inside. The problem with the “chocolate fondue” analogy, as anyone who attempted cooking a chocolate fondue or who has read “Like Water for Chocolate” by Laura Esquivel will tell you, is that chocolate is sensitive to heat and humidity.

I have known immigrants who have come to this country and flourished. These new arrivals see opportunities to create an American Dream that many of us miss. I would no more condemn them to a fate of being dipped in chocolate than I would my ancestors. Personally, I prefer a roux made of unsalted butter, flour and Swiss cheese over a plate of asparagus.

BENJAMIN CHERRYHOMES, Hastings

 

MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA

As lockout drags on, musicians are leaving

The golden age of classical music in the Twin Cities is over. The powers have demanded that Minnesota Orchestra musicians accept low wages and canceled concerts. Why aren’t musicians treated as treasures in our community? Many excellent musicians have gone to other orchestras or have quit to freelance. Maybe there are too many administrators, and their salaries should have been cut.

JOANNE MUNSON, Minneapolis

 

STUDENT LOANS

Government shouldn’t reap profit on program

The federal student loan program should encourage people to get the skills they need for tomorrow’s economy, provide predictability to graduating students and preclude an unfair burden on recent graduates. U.S. Rep. John Kline’s bill fails on all three counts.

Kline’s shortsighted proposal makes these loans too expensive. Without access to affordable student loans, some families won’t make the dream of college education a reality. Kline’s bill also lets the interest rate that students are paying on their loans change every year. The government gets a fixed rate of interest on its loans; why shouldn’t students? We should not force students to guess what their repayment costs will be.

Finally, while Kline uses a market interest rate as a baseline, he adds 2.5 percent interest to undergraduate loans and 4.5 percent for graduate loans. This ensures that the federal government makes a $51 billion profit on student loans in 2013. There is no reason the government should profit from the student loan program.

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