Letters to the Editor 

Schooling us on workers’ rights, poverty, and more.

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Crowning achievement

The long, thoughtful interview with UAW chief Bob King (“King speaks,” Jan. 30), like your coverage of transportation politics, is the kind of thing that makes the Metro Times the most significant newspaper in the state. Your entertainment coverage should be balanced with the serious stuff of life in Michigan, and is.

King’s mention of labor and organizational innovations in Germany, Brazil and Japan made me want to see a regular “workplace” column in the MT, usually focused on local working folks’ issues but occasionally schooling us on workers’ rights overseas. —Mike Mosher, Bay City



Jack Lessenberry’s column titled “Where’s the outrage” — which highlights the fact that more than 530,000 Michigan children are living in poverty — provoked a wide array of online responses from our readers. Tony P observed:

These kids are born into poverty and surrounded by it their entire lives. The parent(s) are likely school dropouts and thus, not believers (like L. Brooks, Bingo, Albom, etc.) in or supporters of their kids’ education. Teachers’ concerns voiced to these parents are either ignored or met with rage since the parent feels he or she is being attacked. This further alienates the parent, who could not care less about the teacher, the school or education.

The kids live in a world of hopelessness and surrounded by other impoverished families that have no clue and perhaps interest in leaving that way of life. Sure, there are children that can rise above that culture of poverty, and escape to a better life, but they are rare at best.

And we haven’t even spoken of the tens of thousands of neglected and abused kids in foster care.

One solution would be to have the 1,000 wealthiest families adopt 1,000 of these poor kids. And those that are Right to Life advocates could join this voluntary and righteous cause and adopt a few of these kids. Then let’s watch the outcomes.

As part of the column, Lessenberry cautioned: “If you are in your 30s or 40s, you are going to be relying on the earnings of this generation for your benefits, etc., when you are elderly. If the prospects for their futures are as dim as they now seem to be, what do you suppose that means for you? Hint: Nothing good.” That prompted SrJr to write:

Since we’re all under the illusion we’re going to live forever — or at least for a very long time (whether we want to or not) — everyone’s out for himself more than ever. Soon we’re going to have to wait until 70 to collect Social Security benefits, so we’ll have to work longer — at what jobs? People who get laid off in their 50s and early 60s can’t find self-supporting jobs! Who has the time to think of anyone else — even the next generation?


ERRATUM: Due to a production error, Metro Times last week inadvertently printed a previous column (“The future of the fairgrounds” from Jan. 23) by Jack Lessenberry. The correct column, “Where’s the outrage,” was posted online after the mistake was discovered. We regret the error.

Send letters (250 words or less, please) to 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226; faxes to 313-961-6598;  e-mail to letters@metrotimes.com. Please include your telephone number.  We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.


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