Letters to the Editor

Trump will share public funds with farmers, but not others in need

Regarding “There is no way to win a trade war” (July 16): Another self-inflicted crisis: farmers who are losing their overseas markets as a result of Trump’s tariffs to strike back against alleged unfair trade deals.

Having caused the damage, Trump comes to the rescue with $12 billion in taxpayer funds to underwrite farmers’ losses. But he won’t share public funds with families who run out of money for food, nor provide for those who can’t afford health insurance, or secure housing.

Trump is also generous with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which treats immigrants and asylum seekers like commodities rather than families trying to exercise their human rights. He even is pursuing naturalized citizens, threatening them with deportation.

Why isn’t Trump ordering his people to prioritize those in greatest need, and, where law enforcement is appropriate, deal only with those who may pose a threat, not groups of people who do not?

What if he were to write an executive order to deal with all people with respect, to do justice with mercy and to share our tax dollars with those who have no voice as well as those who do?

Nancy Milio

Chapel Hill

Not a choice

Regarding “Required UNC text labels cancer ‘disease of choice’” (July 16): I am appalled at the choice of textbooks for the UNC “wellness” course.

Cancer is never a personal choice. The only thing that is a personal choice here is ignorance.

Heidi Ross



Mark Vitner of the “NC Influencers Panel” argues in “The clearest path to improving economic mobility” (July 21) that “improving job training is the clearest path to boosting economic mobility.” But he doesn’t tell us why he thinks that.

Other studies about what increases intergenerational mobility have concluded that the level and progressivity of tax expenditures (of which job training would be only one) are associated with increased economic mobility –other such expenditures would be: more and better paid teachers, better infrastructure, better health care, early childhood development programs and paid leave policies.

One study found that the level of an earned income tax credit was associated with greater economic mobility. Union density decline has been shown to be markedly correlated with rising inequality over the years – could it also be correlated with decreased economic mobility?

Among all of these, why does Vitner think job training the most important, and where’s the proof?

This argues for the N&O using its Influencers differently. Ask them to talk about the various points of view regarding the issue they attempt to address, so at least the public will know there are different points of view.

William David Austin


Demand democracy

Regarding “NC GOP votes to change way ballot amendments are titled” (July 25): Let’s review. Under a provision of a 2016 North Carolina state law, a 3-member Constitutional Amendment Publication Commission is to write short captions for amendments that appear on voting ballots.

The Republican-led state legislature, terrified that commission members Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Attorney General Josh Stein and presumably Republican Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble would write language that is deemed “political,” gathers to strip the commission of its task.

The passage of HB 3 yesterday without public input means that no captions will be included on the ballot, effectively keeping voters in the dark about proposed constitutional changes.

Are legislative leaders afraid that people might vote against their democracy-limiting amendment requiring photo ID to vote, or the one that removes the governor’s ability to fill judicial vacancies and the Board of Ethics and Elections Enforcement?

This episode brought to mind the Electoral Integrity Project’s assessment of our state’s electoral process, which came to the chilling conclusion that the state of North Carolina operates less and less like a democracy. Voters must demand more progressive, more small “d” democratic legislators.

Amy Glass