Dan Rodricks' column "Let's help the poor, but not close to home" (Feb. 3) was right on target. Yes, and Ronald Regan started the great disintegration of student aid, social services, welfare benefits and federal support for public housing and urban renewal which has continued to this day.
To continue the history lesson for the lady, Kim, in his article, the GOP also cultivated relationships with American corporations which have led to the lack of jobs and services in present day. Many of those corporations pay no taxes and do not offer jobs — have removed the jobs — from the freeloaders whom you are afraid might come live near you.
As a descendant of 300 years of Quaker history in this country, I find the current mean-spiritedness and hard-heartedness of the GOP despicable. And no, I am not a Democrat — they allowed this to happen, and have done nothing in the past 20 years, except run and hide when President Barack Obama needed their support.
I am an independent — right in the middle between the two parties — and as a 71-year-old am so disgusted with my generation, so disappointed in the lack of interest they have carried toward their civic responsibilities, that I cannot find words to describe my feelings. Back in the '70s, drugs could have been stopped, jobs could have been kept, corporations made to sponsor a responsibility toward the environment instead of ruining the forests and waters in other countries; Congress forced to do its job.
But, no, my generation forgot — in one generation — they forgot that someone has to watch the henhouse, that we, the people, will pay for our lack of oversight and civic responsibility. And because of our laziness, we will return to a country of 90 percent poor.
As my Quaker grandad said, "From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves, in three generations."
Celie Hanauer, Abingdon