Want to help the poor? Make it easier to start, run a business
Stop growing government, stop spending enormous amounts of money, let people keep more of their own money, make it easier to start businesses and keep them open.
Must be something in the water, but both Chicago newspapers on Monday had articles touting the benefits of our government just giving people money. One called it the best way to help the needy permanently, and the other said it would humanize government and revitalize our economy.
The first thing that must be said is that when our federal government is $30 trillion in debt, and most city and state governments are drowning in debt, how does anyone see that it’s a great thing to just keep borrowing and printing money?
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Doesn’t anybody know that when you borrow money with no intention of actually paying it back but just paying interest on the debt forever, you’re just wasting enormous amounts of money which actually could have been spent on things? It keeps on the pressure to keep raising taxes. Incomes get squeezed, which puts pressure on to increase wages, which raises prices. All those who got the free money find that it didn’t go as far as it used to.
You want to help poor people? Make it easier to start and run a business, easier for businesses to hire more people and pay more wages. Like that saying, give a man a fish you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Just giving people money solves nothing. It just creates more people either unwilling or unable to take care of themselves. I know people have good intentions and think they are helping, but in the long run, it will only make things worse. More people not working, higher taxes on those who are, less incentive to work and people no longer independent but living off the labors of others.
That is no way to run a country.
Larry Craig, Wilmette
Harold Washington and race relations
I admired Mayor Harold Washington, and Laura Washington reminds us of his legacy.
I also remember how his race overshadowed Washington the man. Living in the 45th Ward, I was not surprised that Washington received only 7% of the vote against Bernard Epton in 1983 given the racial and ethnic makeup of the area. However, after Washington was mayor for four years, I was saddened in 1987 when the percentage of his vote went down to 5% when he ran against Donald Haider and Edward Vrdolyak despite his best effort to reach out to the residents living in my community.
What followed was the worst moment of my teaching career. When I was teaching at Gordon Technical High School there was an announcement over the school intercom that the mayor had suffered a heart attack. Gordon was a predominantly white school and there were a number of cheers, which totally disheartened me. The few Black students must have felt sickened by the reaction.
Back then, it was clear that we had a long way to go regarding race relations. And praise for Harold Washington today should not blind us to the fact that we still have a lot of work to do.
Larry Vigon, Jefferson Park