Keep up fight on trade

Many of America’s corporate leaders and economists continue to warn about the dangers of rebalancing America’s trade relationships (see “Tariff delay,” A4, Jan. 13). What is strikingly odd about this is it comes at a time of positive economic news about the American economy in manufacturing, jobs created, employment data and rising wages, especially for blue-collar Americans. One can ask those who were comfortable with 2 percent growth and enormous manufacturing losses to China why that should be viewed as a better alternative to what we are now seeing.

Their stripped down model of “free” trade worked quite well for corporate profitability. Not so well socially and financially for many others. Any theory taken to an extreme can become unworkable due to unintended consequences.

Some questions for these advocates include, who built China during the last 20 years? Now that China has the wealth, ambition, confidence and military to challenge and potentially displace American in Asia, should we continue playing right into their hands? Should we take a 51 percent ownership stake in Chinese companies that do business in America? Are free-traders comfortable with the theft of an estimated $500 billion in theft of American companies’ intellectual property?

China openly views our “free” trade policy as a weakness they will continue to exploit. We’ve not faced this kind of a threat before. It requires a new understanding of Chinese intentions and a more realistic view of free trade that includes reciprocity and mutual benefit. Adam Smith understood that part of it. Unfortunately, many of our business leaders don’t.

Samuel White,

Bristol

Governor missed an opportunity 

It’s clear Gov. Eric Holcomb cares about quality of life, but his State of the State Address was a missed opportunity to outline plans to improve Hoosier health.

In the past year, Indiana fell from 38th in overall health to 41st. Our smoking rate fell to 44th. Our infant mortality crisis, which is related to our high rate of maternal smoking, remains urgent.

The governor and legislature don’t need to look far for a consensus solution. Over 200 leading Indiana organizations have called for a $2 increase in the per pack cigarette tax. If passed, 70,000 adults would quit smoking, 60,000 kids would never start and we would raise vital revenue for community health initiatives. A statewide poll from Raise It for Health puts support for the tax at 70 percent.

I hope the governor and legislature include a cigarette tax increase in this year’s budget, so we can improve health in our great state.

Indiana governor and legislators, hear the peoples voice and increase the cigarette tax.

Yavette Billings,

Elkhart

Enforce texting-driving laws

I am writing to express my concerns about texting and driving. It has been one of the main causes of accidents around the world.

I feel as if though this law against texting and driving should be enforced more strongly than it ever has. Not very many people have been taken this action seriously. It’s so important to me because it makes me sad deep down after seeing all the people in the car accidents or on the news because someone died. I hope this law is really looked upon by the right people, so fewer parents will be worried every time their teenager leaves the house.

I express my concerns about this issue because the number of deaths has increased in the past year just from texting and driving. Some people don’t know how to wait until they are stopped to look at a text. Nothing is more important than saving your own life and keeping your phone down while you’re driving.

I strongly encourage this law to be enforced more than it has been, to save the lives of people in this city, this state, this country and the world.

Shelby Kilgore,

Elkhart

Eisenhower’s insight

Thanks to Mount Moriah Church for publishing, as a paid ad, the remarkable farewell address of President Dwight D. Eisenhower (see Elkhart Truth, Jan. 14, C4). President Eisenhower had the insight and the courage, nearly 60 years ago, to speak prophetically of various dangers that would confront this nation. Among these were “plundering, for our ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow,” the lack of an international “confederation of mutual respect and trust” and national insolvency.

Foremost was his concern, as a former general, that “an immense military establishment and a large arms industry” would pose a threat to our “liberties and democratic processes.” Today, many would say that the military-industrial complex has indeed acquired this “unwarranted influence” in our nation. Consuming an inordinate proportion of our national budget, military superiority and means of dealing with conflict is a constant temptation to those in authority, in place of diplomacy “with intellect and decent purpose.”

Finally, we do well to harken to other words of this same president, in a speech near the beginning of his first term: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, is a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” (Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953)

Keith Kingsley,

Elkhart

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