Christopher Lucero | Taking the Good with the Bad

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

USA. Taxes. Redistribution. Incentives. Subsidies.

Just a few memes to kick things off.

Patricia Suzanne (commentary, Dec. 5) has asked why she or her family should pay for someone else’s education, or relieve a loan granted.

It’s simple. This is America. Part of our Constitution allows for the “common defense and the general welfare” to be funded by acts of Congress. And to remind her, once she writes that check to the U.S. Treasury, it is no longer “her” money.

USA subsidizes coal, amounting to about $112 billion last year. This did not help the industry as several of them have entered bankruptcy. Money down the drain. I personally did not like that.

We can fund subsidies for farmers, amounting to about $22 billion last year. We pay them not to grow. Hmmm. Don’t like that, either.

We can subsidize DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which (for unclassified programs) was around $100 billion, partially funding many defense companies like Raytheon or Northrop Grumman. Estimates are that some 40% of DARPA research money is never brought into any kind of physical or virtual usage. About $40 billion, gone. Don’t like this either, but at least we got a 60% effectiveness.

Patricia Suzanne neglects mention of these varying subsidies and the waste they represent.

Eventually, every dole from USA finds its way into someone’s hands. Along the way, common citizens benefit. Congress acts in our interest, and tolerates the waste in order to confer benefits, and to invest in this country for its continued vigor and to foster USA’s competitive advantage.

No matter what someone pursues, or what they intend to achieve, as a citizen they are due consideration, equally, for the potential merit and contribution they can make to our nation, whether they are farmers, coal miners, undergrads or engineers. There will be good ones and bad ones, successes and failures. Scoundrels and saints.

It is Patricia Suzanne’s opinion that education is apparently an unworthy pursuit. Not worthy of investment. She attacks the pursuit of profession itself.

Imagine a “professional,” of any stripe — plumber, electrician, gardener, engineer, businessman, politician — actually making that claim, that learning and training are unworthy, worthless.

Such a person would necessarily need to reject their own training, reject their capacity to “profess” as illegitimate.

What — in that case — is that person professing?

Christopher Lucero


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