Less is More
Ah, Joe (Manning)! Your “Biggest loser” column (LEO Weekly, June 15) runs parallel to my persistent inner conversation as of late. While I tend not to lose stuff, I realize I have more of it than I will ever put good use to. While you may spend your hours looking for an errant pair of sunglasses, I spend my days trying to figure out what to do with it all.
As I shuffle mounds of clothes on a Saturday morning from window seat to closet to drawer to laundry to basement storage bins, I realize I have become my stuff’s keeper. All of the accumulation — the next outfit and the next pair of shoes, the tchotchkes, the inanimate rulers of my world — simply need managing. And once stored away, what good does it do anyone?
Dawning oh so regrettably of late is the realization that I have willingly stepped onto the wheel — I have enslaved myself in some misguided effort to purchase meaning. I cringe when I think of the money spent on the frivolous. The way off this mindless path seems to be a slower, more deliberate process. Go figure.
Once I take stock of it all and redistribute to new uses/homes, I will adopt the three Rs (REDUCE, reuse, recycle) passionately. My precious time need not be filled with endless activity/consumption. I have begun to leave a space for nothingness — to reduce the noise, wondering if, in that faint hum of quiet, creativity may take root. Certainly a better way to spend my energy and resources will come to light. Win-win, baby.
Mary Vaananen, Louisville
No Magic Box
In his June 1 Inbox letter, Tom Louderback says that the “invisible hand of the free market” doesn’t produce enough “affordable housing.” He seems to think “ardent free marketers,” such as myself, think of the free market as a magic box that produces results when some invisible hand waves over it. “Free market” is a term to describe the state of individual people being let alone to pursue their own interests using property and talents. What Louderback fails to realize is that the amount of affordable housing he seeks is his own preference. In addition, he doesn’t make clear what “affordable” is. How high a price would be too high? Too low? Any answers to these questions would be nothing more than the personal preferences of Louderback.
Many times people touting the benefits of “public investment” overlook the costs. When money is taxed from people, they are no longer able to use it for their own purposes. People proposing public investment are really saying to taxpayers: “What I would like to do with your money is more important to me than what you would like to do with your money, so I’ll take it.”
Free market supporters like myself don’t pretend that allowing people to do what they want with what is theirs will always lead to the results that Louderback prefers. There does, however, seem to be a simple justice to the free market idea, and that is why we support it.
Rich Mills, Shawnee
Enough is Enough
Conservative Republicans and their Tea Party subordinates are saying President Obama is failing to quell America’s economic woes. What would they be doing to quell economic fears if they currently occupied the White House? The GOP is doing everything they can in an attempt to make Obama a one-term president.
The Republican Party is beholden to big business; together they are largely responsible for the economic malaise America is experiencing. The middle class and poor did not send manufacturing jobs abroad and are not responsible for a collapsing economy.
Surely, a majority of sensible Americans will not be suckered into believing electing a Republican president and a GOP-dominated Senate in 2012 will solve our economic problems. Trickle-down economics of the past 30 years hasn’t worked, and tax cuts for the rich are not creating jobs.
Our country’s most serious economic problem is a moral deficits crisis centered around greed. When Wall Street greed increases, Main Street compassion decreases. No human being will be able to ease our economic fears as long as “enough is never enough” greed fuels our individual, corporate economic engines.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews