<b>The eyes of the poor</b>
EDITOR: I have a suggestion for cold-hearted budget cutters. Those who want to cut food stamps, shrink Medicare, freeze Social Security and roll back health care reform should be forced to go to the homes of the poor. These wealthy would-be lawmakers should appear on TV going through the refrigerators and purses and medicine cabinets of the poor, removing food, medications, money, perhaps picking up that extra sweater or pair of shoes. They can haul it all away in the trunks of their limousines, then deliver it to the lobbies of giant corporations or their rich campaign contributors who don't want to share in building the common good.
Instead of blank, featureless paper, these people who want power might learn some compassion by looking into the eyes of people whom they propose to impoverish further. It would make all the difference if they would get to know the people affected by their policies. I'll bet their hearts would soften when reality melted their beliefs and leave "give money to the rich to help the poor" in an icy puddle at their feet.
<b>Paper money failures</b>
EDITOR: I got a kick out of Ron Paris' letter ("Krugman vs. Rand," Thursday). I, too, was taken aback by Paul Krugman's column, especially the statement that Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" is a cult favorite among adolescent boys. Does anyone out there know an adolescent boy who even read that book without it being assigned by a teacher? I sometimes wonder if he's even serious with some of his off the wall statements.
Krugman ("Paul Ryan's Ayn Rand fantasy," Aug. 26) also said we've been on paper money since 1815, but for most of the 1800s, with the exception of the Civil War, that money was backed by gold or silver — and said so right on it. Back in the good old QE days of Fed "accommodation" (money printing), Krugman advocated for more Fed injections, to the tune of $5 trillion.
Krugman never met a free market he liked. Ninety percent of what I've heard him espouse just parrots the notions of John Maynard Keynes, who felt we could print our way to prosperity. As we are finding out here, in Japan and in Europe, money that is backed by nothing will ultimately yield nothing but market distortions and bubbles. The bubbles eventually pop.