Generous tribute

Your editorial in the May 10 issue of the Chestnut Hill Local [“An era ends at the Local”] was an act of true generosity. As a septuagenarian who has known many employers and countless bosses, I am hard-pressed to recall any paeans for outgoing regimes. Rather – the talk was hype for the new era.

I’m sure that all those talented, cheerful, congenial, industrious ladies who ran the Local will forgive your software encroachment and remember you with affection for appreciating who they are and what they did.

 

Horace Deacon
East Falls

 

‘Amazing event’ at area school

I can’t express how grateful I am for your wonderful article and spread on the front page of Local Life (“Musical inspired by battle against anti-Semitism,” May 10). Thank you for taking the time for writing such a wonderful account of the amazing event that happened in our little school.

Frumi Cohen
Resident playwright
Plymouth Meeting Friends School

 

 

Congress doesn’t get Food Stamps

The current effort in Congress to eliminate the Food Stamp Program, presented as a “cut” of $33 billion, reveals a disturbing inability on the part of some of our elected representatives to grasp the inter-dependent dynamics of a complex economy.

The Food Stamp Program does not only benefit the recipients of the stamps but also the food producers or farmers and, through them, ultimately everyone. The program plays a role in securing an adequate food supply, and stabilizing food prices.

Food is a unique commodity, being on the one hand the single most essential commodity, while, on the other hand, demand for food cannot be significantly increased by aggressive huckstering.

You might be able to convince some people, Yes, we really do need that third car, that fourth computer, that fifth plasma, or – though they can take the time off their cell phones – that $1,000-dollar wristwatch would be nice, but everyone, within narrow limits, can only eat so much food, and if you are eating proportionately, the limits are not only narrow but fixed.

Consequently, it is impossible for food producers to survive without government assistance, as technology constantly increases the supply of food, while the demand, on a per capita basis, remains static or stable. This is not the case everywhere in the world, but has been so in America for over a century, and today also Europe.

Under an unalloyed market mechanism the supply of food will tend to outweigh the demand, almost inevitably, causing prices to drop to the point where food producers can no longer afford to produce. The correction for this is, that the government must act to reduce the supply of food on the market.

A number of methods have been tried, but the most sensible one is for the government to buy, store, and distribute some food to persons of low to modest income. It is simply a matter of matching up our large food supply and surplus, with our large supply of the economically distressed. This is what the Food Stamp Program accomplishes.

 

Jim Hunter
Center City

 

Forget me not

Forget me not: When you are lost in thought as you make it through the day.

Forget me not: I am one who fought and was scarred along the way.

Forget me not: For the freedom bought with lives one cannot repay.

Forget me not: When your child is taught to remember yesterday.

Forget me not: When the day is hot.

Forget me not: Yes, I heard the shot but I did not run away.

Forget me not: I’m a patriot. Please remember me not just today . . . Memorial Day . . . but each and every day.

FORGET ME NOT!!

Please, take a moment to silently thank all those who are serving our military today, who are preserving our freedom and liberty.

(From the Forget-Me-Not Flower Poem)

 

Tom Woodruff
Oreland

 

New Voter ID law ‘illegal, immoral’

A close look at the new requirements for voter ID in Pennsylvania has left me aghast. Whatever one’s beliefs about the need for photo identification – Pennslyvania officials readily admit there has not been one documented case of voter impersonation in the last five years – this new law could prevent thousands of legitimate voters from participating in the November election.

First, because of the need for voter education, poll-worker training, extra judges and new provisional ballot procedures, most states have required at least two years to prepare for changes. Governor Corbett signed the law March 14, 2012, and our state is planning to enforce it in seven months.

Second, in order to qualify for a free state photo ID, one must provide an official birth certificate (with a raised seal; no copies allowed), an official Social Security card and proof of address. My official birth certificate would cost me $22 via money order or certified check mailed to Cincinnati, Ohio. I could charge it online for another $11. Many older African Americans born in the South never had a birth certificate.

Providing my Social Security card would mean spending several hours at their office, filling out a five-page form and providing a photo ID, which I don’t have. If I managed to overcome this problem, it would still take 14 weeks to get to me.

I believe this law illegally, immorally and unjustly places both financial and operational barriers in the way of the 320,000 registered voters in our state estimated to be without photo IDs. It punishes voters in the cities who are less likely to have cars.

Because a survey by the Brennan Center found that Americans earning less than $35,000 were twice as likely to lack IDs as Americans who earned more, it punishes the poor. Because the steps to get an ID are complicated and time-consuming, it hurts the elderly, students and the working poor. I also have grave concern about our country’s reaction to the election results in November if it is clear that many, many people who are legitimate voters are not permitted to have their votes counted.

The Session of my church, Summit Presbyterian Church, has voted to speak out against this law, and we will be inviting the Philadelphia Presbytery to join us. I urge all people of faith and good will to do what they can to prevent this injustice.

 

Peggy MacGregor
West Mt. Airy