Regarding your June 26 article "Low interest rates squeeze the budgets of retirees": Manipulation of the interest rates may stimulate investment in the stock market and benefit corporations and the wealthy, but I see it as elder abuse.
For years, the federal government has encouraged children to save for retirement. Now that these children are retired and on a fixed income, their savings are providing no interest income, and they have to spend their savings or go back to work. Corporate influence on lawmakers may benefit the banks and stock markets, but it is doing so at the expense of the elderly.
Two comments on the article about the knee-jerk reaction from the retirees:
1. Retired people, my parents included, need to understand that their returns will vary from year to year. I didn't hear any complaints in the late 1990s from those who were able to retire early because their stock portfolios skyrocketed.
2. In the macro sense, prices will reflect these lower interest rates in years to come, and the retirees will benefit from the lower prices.
Regarding your June 27 editorial "Pirates of the music scene": Thank you for acknowledging the misguided conduct of a record industry that lacks imagination and vision. To use threats of lawsuits against its potential clients is absurd.
No one can stop technology; One must adapt and find new ways to take advantage of it. The Recording Industry Association of America, like much of the mundane, boring music it produces, is unwilling to look beyond what has been done and look to what can be done. Maybe record sales are down because the records are not so good - relying on old, worn-out formulas rather than talent, vision, and the guts to take risks in order to evolve.
Regarding your June 27 article "Suddenly, America has a brash neighbor up north": What the Canadian government is doing is not necessarily what the Canadian people want. Most Canadians are very much against the gay lobby and the legalizing of gay marriage - and the entire slippery slope of liberalism that is the bent of this current government.
There is still a large conservative population in Canada that believes in fundamental religious values, especially those concerning the family. What this government is doing to the family is dangerous in the extreme, and we wish the views of conservatives were as freely published as those of the "liberals." At present, Canadian democracy is practically nonexistent, with our Liberal government having a huge majority that gives it carte blanche to pass anything it wants. But that doesn't mean it's what Canadians want. We identify more with the religious right in the US than most Americans realize.
One thing the article was right about, however, was our stance on the war in Iraq. We believe it was manufactured by the Bush administration. We love the American people, but we don't like George W. Bush.
Yes, we're proud to live in such a diverse society, relatively free from dissension. There is no such thing, however, as "free healthcare." It is paid for out of everyone's taxes. You don't get something for nothing - even in Canada!
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