Immigration wouldn’t help
Froma Harrop (March 24) refutes her own claim that a declining birth rate is OK for Japan. “Fewer people means more food, more housing, fewer cars and more open space.”
In the next paragraph, she notes that fewer births would mean fewer working people to pay for the increasing aging population. She suggests admitting more immigrants to help pay for retirees’ benefits. This solution is unpopular in America as well as Japan.
Immigrants don’t necessarily join the legitimate workforce. Many, instead, are employed in underground jobs. They are paid under the table and are not contributing to the retirees’ funds.
Robots as caregivers in nursing homes seem quite a stretch. This is the future she advocates.
Most people would reject her solution as unlikely and unworkable.
Different train of thought
Regarding the David Camp March 24 letter, “Coal trains a threat.”
Camp should acquaint himself with some facts on the coal trains and their content. First, the BNSF Railway line between Sandpoint and Spokane is approaching its capacity of 65 trains a day, including four coal trains, two loaded and two empties. The limiting factor is the line itself, a single track with sidings for passing. The greatest impediment to additional trains is the BNSF single track 0.9 mile bridge over Lake Pend Oreille south of Sandpoint, a factor that will not be readily changed.
He obviously has not acquainted himself with the facts on Powder River Basin coal found in U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1625-A. Google it. For example, the coal averages 27.6 percent moisture, its average sulfur content of 0.48 percent vs. 5 percent for eastern coal, and the mercury content is 0.13 PPM. There is a high probability that the 500-pound weight loss per car over the 1,100 mile trip from mine mouth to the coast is moisture evaporation and not coal dust, as the opponents claim. The chemical content makes it a desirable fossil fuel when compared with coal from other sources.
The BNSF system has been here for over 100 years. Get used to it.
Richard F. Creed
Babies at conception
In answer to the Lee Freese March 20 letter, I want to assure him that in the real world, at conception there is a baby formed (not as in “blastocyte” and a “nascent human entity”).
Eighteen days after conception, there is a heartbeat, and that baby begins to develop into (usually) a perfect human being.
How can someone get attached to an unborn baby? How about love! To be so callous is shocking to me.
At least this person who said that a nascent is a human entity recognizes it’s a baby.
When I was in nurses training and saw the first baby born, so perfect, I cried, to know that God in his wisdom formed that child from an egg and a sperm.
Let’s put this subject where it should be, not looking at in a scientific world, but the real world where babies are conceived and born. Yes, some unwanted, but there are answers to that problem as well.
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