Find way to spread cancer research funds around more equitably
Kudos to Daniel Weaver on his excellent Oct. 14 op-ed column on cancer awareness [“Breast cancer awareness overshadows others that need cures”]. I found it to be both eye-opening and thought-provoking.
With all the attention paid to breast cancer awareness and research, I never realized that this cancer was only the fifth-leading cause of death among cancer patients. I should have been more aware of this, given that of all my family and friends who have battled cancer, only one suffered from breast cancer.
I suppose that a big reason for this lack of information is the attention given to breast cancer by all sports teams and celebrities who have generously supported the research for years, as Mr. Weaver pointed out. His facts on the number of groups supporting breast cancer awareness and research vs. other forms of cancer were very sobering. I think all Americans should be made aware of these facts in hopes of evening the playing field in regard to research donations from the public.
I know there is intense competition among the various groups to appeal to the public for donations, but perhaps someone could create a national cancer research fund to spread the money more evenly among the various groups, to ensure that all cancer patients have an equal chance at finding a cure for this terrible disease.
This is surely an area where competition should be put aside for the betterment of all.
Candidates’ appeals for money have gone too far
This morning [Oct. 19], I listened to a message read to me over the phone, soliciting support for a political candidate. There are now so many of these appeals each day, either on the phone or, even more prominently, online that I usually turn them aside/delete them as soon as I get the gist of what their intent is.
I’ve made contributions, sometimes several, to the candidates I want to support. But today, something snapped as I listened. I now try to find a way to deliver the following message to the sources of these appeals:
To each of you who requests, ad nauseum, that I contribute to the campaign of a political candidate: You are helping to poison the spring which has, until now, nourished our political system.
I am no longer viewed primarily as a voter whose intelligent response is courted; instead, I have become a money tree to be plucked for as many goodies as, usually, either the funding deadline or the polling numbers can induce me to part with.
It makes me wonder if I should opt out of the system altogether; I will at least unsubscribe from this offensive onslaught.
Going gold again would only make things worse
David D’Agostino’s Oct. 11 letter, “Ditching the gold standard was our big mistake,” was fascinating in that he seemed to be advocating that we enter a period of “deflation” by pegging the U.S. dollar to gold. Doesn’t he understand that with a gold standard, as prices fall during deflation, so do wages but not debts?
Making less might not be so bad if the prices of goods and services fell along with wages. But debts such as bank loans, student loans, auto loans and mortgages would remain pegged at the original level of the currency, whose value would now be that of gold. The debts would become harder to pay off!
After the stock market crash of 1929, many countries where hit hard by deflation as their economies fell but not their money. There was the additional problem of investors clamoring to trade in paper money for gold, endangering national gold reserves. Going off the gold standard allowed the United States to preserve its gold reserves and to finance the New Deal and World War II.
The post-war Bretton Woods system of having the leading international currencies pegged to the dollar, which in turn was pegged to gold, fell apart when nations like France and West Germany started to demand gold for dollars.
Today the value of global currencies is determined by currency markets and central bank like our Federal Reserve. It may not be perfect, but it is a much more flexible system than the rigid gold standard that failed to prevent the Great Depression, and actually made it worse.
I would suggest that if Mr. D’Agostino doesn’t accept the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, he convert his savings to gold; or even better, to a diverse basket of durable commodities including silver, copper and steel that he could stockpile at home.
Benjamin J. Turon
Gaza didn’t deserve cash in the first place
Re Oct. 16 AP article, “U.S. drops Gaza scholarships after Israel travel ban”: I must have missed the newspaper that day two years ago when this program was “launched with great fanfare by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” as I did not realize my tax dollars had gone to support higher education for people who burn our flag, chant “death to America,” and plot to kill our citizens and allies.
In my opinion, the only “outreach” we should extend to the terrorist haven of Gaza would be delivered from the belly of a B-52.
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