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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 6, 2008 at 3:53 PM

Waning American empire — a response

What empire?

In response to Lance Dickie’s rumination on the waning American empire, [“As American empire wanes, the world shrugs its shoulders,” editorial column, Oct. 2] consider this:

We are now paying for many decades of misplaced priorities in which a permanent war economy has trumped all concerns for domestic economic and social health. What would be on a domestic need-to-do wish list?

How about addressing education. Dickie reflects on the burgeoning global economy and the enormous political shifts contained therein. While we as a nation have been for many years inundated with the argument that education, science literacy and numeracy, along with refined technical skills are critical to a competent work force in an ever-evolving technological society, we have simultaneously witnessed a persistent erosion of vast swaths of public education.

In many communities, school facilities are inadequate and in some instances literally falling apart. This is a particular tragedy in many inner city schools where obtaining a decent education is becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible.

A full-scale commitment to reinvigorating public education could staunch the trends in illiteracy and innumeracy, and ensure that an educated citizenry can meet the economic and political challenges of an interdependent global community.

Salvaging our decaying infrastructure, ensuring that all citizens are properly housed, creating a truly accessible and just system of health care and assisting ready and willing workers with adequate and dignified employment are but a few areas of domestic concern that must be addressed if this nation is to reclaim its legacy of hope.

The path we have been on has been abysmal and we are now reaping the bitter fruits of that folly. It is high time to claim a new ethos and direction for America.

— Joe Martin, Seattle

Comments | More in Economy, Education, Election, Energy, Environment, Health care, Politics

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