Victim of ‘witch hunt,’ or warranted attention?
Mitch Pearlstein and Kim Crockett (“ALEC haters’ witch hunt hits home,” Aug. 14) characterize the American Legislative Exchange Council as a conservative nonprofit organization, composed of state legislators.
In reality, more than 300 of ALEC’s members (and the source of 98 percent of its money) are corporations, paying thousands of dollars for the privilege of sitting in with elected representatives to craft national legislation. These corporate members — ExxonMobil, Pfizer, Wal-Mart, Koch Industries and others — are beholden to their shareholders, not to the American people, and their bills are crafted accordingly.
What Pearlstein and Crockett call a left-wing “drumbeat” against ALEC is simply a small part of the ongoing fight to get money out of politics. Readers should see for themselves at the much-maligned Center For Media and Democracy’s website.
NEAL SKORPEN, Minneapolis
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It’s impossible to be optimistic
An Aug. 15 article about the crisis in Egypt hit the nail on the head (“Arab Spring’s hope gets rolled back”) when it stated said that the broader problems for much of the Arab world were “fragmented countries, too much population growth, terrible education systems [and] too little water.” It might have been added that it will be virtually impossible to find employment to fill the needs of a growing population — no matter who or what form of government is leading the country.
Call me gloom and doom, but under these circumstances, I see no possible solution. It’s a no-win situation.
TOM R. KOVACH, Nevis, Minn.
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It’s the best way to raise people up
No less than a huge icon on the left — Bono, of U2 fame — acknowledged in public remarks the other day that capitalism does far more good for the poverty-stricken than does government aid.
He knows whereof he speaks, having led the charge for greater government assistance from the West in order to reduce the grinding poverty that defines so much of the Third World. Now that so much funding has been forthcoming, he looks at the same poor regions and understands that little or nothing has changed.
In essence, he echoes the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin, who said more than 220 years ago that too much government aid to the poor destroys their spirit. They must ache to improve their lives, spurred by free-market solutions to their joblessness.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.