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Sun., Jan. 19, 2014

Try direct public aid

Kudos to Nancy Runyan (Jan. 14) for calling attention to the ideas of social scientist Joseph Hanlon. She and Hanlon propose eliminating the witches’ brew of state and federal agencies administering welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. Instead, they would send a single four-figure monthly amount to low-income households, enabling people to make their own grown-up decisions about where to spend it. Why not?

My wife and I were forced out of this dismal job market by corporate mergers, post-2008 cost-cutting and the outrageous and ongoing shipment of American factories, jobs and technology to China and India. Luckily, our careers provided enough savings (even after the 2008 Wall Street debacle) to stay afloat until Social Security and Medicare kicked in.

Now we live frugally on a Social Security pittance. There are plenty of boomers like us, hence the dead storefronts you see everywhere. The Chinese planned economy apparently works better than this boom/bust system, sad to say.

We read daily about endless thousands of inheritance millionaires and corporate royals earning more in six months than we did in four decades of high-tech work. If the Hanlon-Runyan plan falls short of cash, I can suggest several offshore and onshore resources.

Jim Thompson

Spokane Valley

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