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Letters to the Editor

Sun., Feb. 6, 2011, midnight

Welfare by any other name

Wednesday’s Spokesman contained articles about the state reducing welfare for families and Columbia River improvements producing benefits for business. Why is one called a benefit and the other called welfare?

Increasing benefits for businesses that do business involving transportation of goods through the Columbia River is considered by many a good use of public funds. It is not called welfare because it will improve the profits of many businesses. Just maybe, it will reduce the costs of certain goods to people in the region.

It would be interesting to see a cost-benefit analysis of these transportation improvements to determine if their benefits exceed their costs. Many believe that providing shelter, food, medical treatment, education, etc. to people who need them is a moral necessity and a benefit. For those who do not, it would be interesting to see a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the cost of providing these goods and services is offset by the benefits of providing a labor force that is healthy, educated and productive.

Philip Waring

Coeur d’Alene



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