Letters to the Editor

July 21, 2014

Land of the free welfare

In a recent letter, Kevin J. Gagen asked a timely question: Are we (America) still a land of opportunity, or should we just consider returning Lady Liberty to France?

Decades ago, opportunity drew all of my grandparents to America from their Eastern European sustenance farms. They built good lives for themselves through determination, grit and frugality. Much of that opportunity still exists, despite the burdens of the IRS, ACA, EPA, ADA and the rest of government's bitter alphabet soup.

But something else calls foreigners to the United States that didn't exist in my grandparents' day: ever-expanding entitlements. As a child in the 1930s my still-hungry mother was often instructed to bring a plate of food to needy neighbors, a better version of community organizing than what we know now. Perhaps we should add to the inscription: "America: Come for the opportunity, and if that fails, stay for the welfare."

As for Gagen's demonization of the anti-illegal immigration protesters, apparently it's too much to ask the government to enforce existing laws. How can you tell the system is "broken" without doing so?

Edward Nowak

Belleville

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