Letters to the editor on minimum wage, Beirut attack

05/21/2014 12:00 AM

05/20/2014 5:32 PM

Should reward working people

Once again, shady columnists resort to self-serving scare tactics by calling the pope “socialist,” trying to create paranoia about wealth redistribution (“Pope should advocate for creating new wealth,” May 14 Opinion). The pope is not supporting welfare for the lazy, but rather denouncing a system in which people can work full time and still not meet basic needs such as food, a home or medical care.

We should reward working people, not force them into welfare. Self-sufficiency through labor was once known as “pursuit of happiness” and eventually “the American dream.” Charity and philanthropy are good, but they can also lead to a self-congratulatory, feel-good system that tells people: “I don’t think you deserve to make enough to live, but I have such a great heart that I will throw you a bone so you can survive. So you better thank me.”

Increasing the minimum wage may not be simple. It’s true that resources are finite. Some people allude to the lifeboat metaphor: If more people climb on board, we all sink. But the reality is we’re letting people drown so we can exercise our right to be more comfortable.

FERNANDO SALGADO

Wichita

Investigate Beirut

On Jan. 15, I wrote a letter to Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, suggesting that a congressional committee be established to look into the tragic events of Oct. 23, 1983, when a truck driven by a suicide bomber crashed into a building outside of Beirut, Lebanon, that billeted a large number of American Marines, killing 241 of them.

I wrote, “President Reagan did very little to find the culprits behind the attack. Nor did Congress do much either. I believe the time has come for Congress to finally investigate the facts around the Beirut attack and why it happened.”

In an e-mail dated Feb. 14, Pompeo turned down my idea. He said that there were no outstanding issues left to be answered about the bombing and that he didn’t believe there was a need to create a select committee.

Now I’ve learned that he will be part of a select committee investigating Benghazi, even though more than a dozen congressional hearings have failed to turn up anything new (May 10 Eagle). Meanwhile, what happened in Lebanon remains clouded in many unanswered questions. For example: Why were the repeated warnings by the Marine commander in charge that his men were “sitting ducks” ignored by key Reagan administration officials?

MICHAL BETZ

Wichita

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