Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: poverty


JOBS: Democrats have better job-creation records

Re: “Liberals lost the ‘War on Poverty’” (letter, 5-26).

The writer’s implied assertion is that conservatives are better qualified to eliminate poverty because they can create more jobs. Let’s look at the record.

Starting with Dwight Eisenhower, there have been six Republican presidents. The only one to have a sterling showing was Ronald Reagan. During his eight years, 16 million jobs were created. Richard Nixon was second, with 9.4 million. Both George W. Bush and his dad fell far short, with 3 million and 2.5 million respectively. Only 3.5 million jobs were created under Eisenhower.

Democrats have done much better.

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POVERTY: Investing in education is crucial

Re: “Ethiopian advocate for educating girls brings message to Tacoma” (TNT, 5-19).

Thank you for printing the interview with Selamawit Bekele. I was privileged to hear her speak about the impact of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) on her home country, Ethiopia, where the number of schools has more than tripled since joining the GPE in 2004.

We cannot end poverty without investing in education. Education is intrinsically related to other poverty-alleviation aspects, such as maternal and child health, gender equality, economic development, national security and democracy.

On June 26, leaders from around the world will convene at

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EDUCATION: Teachers can only do so much for poor kids

I intend to save Ken Miller’s Your Voice, “Kids living in poverty have little chance at education” (TNT, 3-12), because to me, a retired teacher, it says it all why there is an achievement gap between students who are born and grow up in poverty and those who are fortunate to be born to more affluent families.

It is why I suspect that teachers, especially those who work with students who live in poverty, are reluctant to be judged in the end by how their students achieve, because teachers actually have no control over the parenting/lack thereof and the

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POVERTY: We can improve life for African children

Working with as many underprivileged, under-resourced yet seemingly healthy kids as I do as an after-school program learning leader in Tacoma, I am reminded every day how grateful I am to be living in a country where all kids are able to access vaccinations, education, clean water, food and, more importantly, electricity.

Hearing screams coming from students in the after-school program when the lights are accidentally turned off makes my skin cringe. Almost immediately flashes of children in Africa attempting to learn in dark classrooms and the challenges they face because they don’t have electricity at home start happening in

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POVERTY: What’s the incentive to work?

A hundred years ago, people who lived in poverty lived in wretched conditions, often without sufficient food, shelter and medical care. Today, those who cannot or will not work live about as comfortably as those who do.

The food stamp program provides them with food, Medicaid takes care of their medical problems for free, and many receive free or reduced housing benefits and a couple years of unemployment benefits so more and more Americans lack incentive to work.

Many Americans are working to provide for others who actually have a higher income than they do when all of the government

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POVERTY: Dismantling programs isn’t the answer

The War on Poverty initiated by President Lyndon Johnson is 50 years old. Despite what some critics say now, in 1968 it was an unqualified success. If you don’t believe me, just look at the statistics and you will see that I am correct.

Does this mean that poverty in the U.S. is conquered? Definitely not. The underemployed and unemployed are still with us. Blue-collar jobs and union jobs are still declining.

I believe we must reinvent or improve the programs we already have instead of dismantling them and destroying people’s lives.

Poverty is curable if we all, including the

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POVERTY: Financial stress takes a heavy toll

Re: “Study finds poverty dulls brain power” (TNT, 8-30).

Who is surprised that researchers have finally proved that stress – specifically over financial troubles – dulls brain power – leading to bad choices and lack of ability to concentrate and to do well in school or on the job?

As a retired schoolteacher who has a daughter who deals with behavior-challenged kids at the high school level, I don’t know how students at any age can possibly do well in school; with little money, everyone in the family worries about shelter, food, medical care, clothing – the necessities of

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POVERTY: Another war not worth fighting

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that “widespread incarceration at the federal, state and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable.” For this reason he has decided to surrender our nation’s 40-year “War on Drugs.”

Holder may be right. This war hasn’t worked. It hasn’t decreased drug use. It has simply filled up prisons and cost our nation money.

However, while he and the Democratic Party or at it, perhaps they should also surrender another failing, decades-long war: the “War on Poverty.”

The war was conceived by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 with the goal of ending poverty

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