Letters to the editor for Sept. 28
Yes, we oldsters do need to look out for the kids
I wonder if others were struck as I was by Dave Wenzel's piece in the Sept. 7 Post and Arlene Easly's letter in the Sept. 14 Gresham Outlook. Louis Bowerman also had a related letter in the Sept. 17 Outlook, and Sandy's own Sharon Nesbit had a related piece in the Outlook.
I believe Dave was spot on. Arlene's point, while surely valid on the surface, seems to be looking through rose-colored glasses, and assumes kids read our musings.
I was a kid when war raged and things looked problematic, though they seemed normal to me. As a young adult, we were threatened by nuclear annihilation, to which we seemed to become numb. And as a young parent, I went ahead and raised a family without particular concerns about the horrific possibilities for my children. That's the way young people are.
But now I'm seeing things differently, as the potential consequences of our massive adult misbehavior on our children's futures are our personal responsibilities to a larger extent than was the case 40-70 years ago.
Louis points out how kids tend to suffer the most from difficult economic times, and Sharon describes how family economics are shifting toward a wider gulf between the haves and the have nots, where most kids reside.
My personal take, as one of the elderly segment, is that most of us elderly are doing pretty well in spite of our over-evaluated homes recently losing value, and our modest investments varying in value from day to day. Some elderly are not faring well, and these need our support. But for the most part, we are the most affluent generation of working-class elderly the world has yet seen. We indulge ourselves in massive material pleasures and have available the deepest and widest cultural opportunities ever known to humans. Yet we worry first about any changes in Social Security and Medicare, regardless of how slight. And if a political representative or candidate dares suggest some adjustment ought to be made that might favor the coming generations, we vote them quickly down. We vote in our own interests, and with a vengeance.
We didn't do enough to merit our favored lives. Lots of luck seemed to prevail along with some effective political leadership.
So Dave is correct. We need to look out for the kids, as they're not in a position to do so. And the future for them doesn't look as favorable as ours has turned out.
Why are we paying to build trails, crosswalks?
It seems there is plenty of money to build special bike lanes on the highways, crosswalks, trails, paths, etc., but no money to keep the public restrooms open at Government Camp (Oregonian Sept. 23).
The people who suggest and/or make these decisions apparently have no functioning brain above their shoulders.