Letters to the Editor

Gilson presents problems, but lacks solutions

To the editor:

Looking through Blake Gilson’s column ("Governments inherently flawed," Opinion, Monday), I’m not sure what his alternative is. He describes how we exist in a representative democracy, but also points out, correctly, that the outcome has been decidedly mixed. What I would like to hear from Gilson is his alternate proposal, the thing he appears to be building up to.

I’m going to take a guess that it’s an "ownership society," or one where we all sit off by ourselves and engage only in our self-interested pursuits, protecting ourselves from any other initiation of force by other parties, and which will then, presumably, lose all negatives of our current situation (wars, taxation). I don’t think this would happen. I think we would get one of two outcomes.

One would be total societal collapse that would indirectly kill, through the loss of transport and other such services, the greater part of the nation. This isn’t much of a positive, to me. I might retain, in theory, the possibility of greater freedom as an independent landowner, but I’d also be pretty likely to die or just end up without any land.

I think a more likely outcome is that some other group would walk in and take over. I think we’d be ruled by the best-organized armed mob in the area, which might be portions of the military or the police. That’s if we’re fortunate, of course.

I would hope the regional autocrats wouldn’t have any objections and instead provide some degree of public service. I would hope they’d keep the actual raping and killing down to a minimum. That’s a lot of hope, and I say that as a Barrack Obama supporter.

Tom Pile

history senior

Aid misrepresented in column

To the editor:

Having just finished reading Ala-Edeen Herzallah one-sided column on Israel, "Focus should be on America," (Wednesday, Opinion), I felt the need to point out a few of the more glaring errors and omissions.

Let’s start with the Herzallah’s inability to do simple math. Using his figures for 2007 of $2.34 billion in military aid and $120 million in economic assistance you get a total package of $2.42 billion a year in aid. Since there are 301 million people in the United States, when you do the math you get a per capita expense of $8.04. Herzallah stated that the aid is more than $800 per person.†

Since he is supposed to be a mechanical engineering senior, either he needs to take remedial math or he misrepresented the data to support his biased views. If Herzallah or the†paper took the time to look at US aid to all countries in the Middle East, you will find that Israel received $2.406 billion in foreign aid in 2006, while the Muslim countries received $3.358 billion over the same period.

If you would rather just look at Israel and Palestine you will see that Israel, with a population that is 2.5 larger, receives less than $3 billion in total world aid whereas Palestine receives $1 billion. So proportionally Palestine alone receives 62 percent of the aid that Israel receives. This does not include any aid that is paid to Hamas or that is given to nongovernment organizations that operate in the region.

Nathaniel Morgan

physics senior

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