Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss border inhumanity, carbon dividends and the glass ceiling

Border madness

I do not condone the president’s decision to close legal ports of entry, nor the tear gassing of immigrants who are legally seeking asylum. (Nov. 27, 1A, “Mexico boosts security after migrants try to cross”)

This is a humanitarian crisis and must be handled as such.

The lack of timely and accurate information from the federal government about the process of requesting asylum is creating uncertainty, frustration and chaos. Immigrants should be met by humanitarian and legal aid, not military personnel who know nothing about the asylum process. The military presence only escalates the crisis.

I urge Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver to respond out of truth, reason and empathy. They must publicly denounce the president’s actions and rhetoric as inhumane and fearmongering.

Andrea Clark

Kansas City

State, not senator

The Star’s editorial about why Sen. Claire McCaskill lost her re-election bid was confusing and beside the point. (Nov. 24, 7A, “Democrats need new ways to reach black voters, but that’s not why McCaskill lost her Senate seat”)

McCaskill has been a powerful Senate lion for many years. Her work and her voice will be greatly missed by many people.

McCaskill did everything right in her campaign. Missouri has turned hard right.

Thank you, Claire McCaskill.

Penny Moeller

Mission Hills

Growing clean

The sobering report from 13 federal agencies released Friday outlines the deadly and costly effects of climate change, including tripling the frequency of large wildfires and more than doubling the economic losses of the Great Recession. (Nov. 24, 1A, “Climate change could triple frequency of large wildfires”)

So what can we do about it? A big first step would be to implement a carbon fee and dividend program. The basic idea is to add a fee to fossil fuels to account for the societal costs of their carbon dioxide emissions, and then fully return these fees to households in the form of dividend payments.

Most Americans would receive more in dividends than they would pay in higher prices for fossil fuels. This fee can be phased in and would grow the economy by injecting additional spending money into people’s pockets while creating millions of new jobs and spurring business investments and innovation.

Putting a price on carbon is not a new idea. Yale University economist William Nordhaus recently won the Nobel Prize in economics for his years of work on the concept, and Canada will implement a similar program in 2019.

What it requires is action from Congress. I urge readers to contact your elected officials and express your support for a carbon fee and dividend.

Grant Gengelbach

Lee’s Summit

Personal touch

While meandering between newspaper articles and social media the other night, I stumbled upon a thread of contentious comments under one of our elected officials’ Facebook posts.

As one might imagine, many of the comments were intentionally incendiary. Opposing parties lashed out at each other and poked holes in the other side’s arguments. However, this vitriol has little effect in creating change.

Instead of engaging in debates on social media, you should call or write your representatives. When you contact their offices, their staffs note your opinion in their computer systems. They ensure your voice is heard, and your writing or phone call may help bring about change.

Don’t let your opinions exist solely in the comments section. Pick up a pen or a phone.

David Boedeker

Kansas City

A new reality

This year, I began my journey as a college freshman. Within these past four months, I have been able to experience life as an independent thinker. With this newfound freedom, I could not help but become aware of the systemic inequalities affecting the lives of many here on this campus.

Gender. Why must it define our outcomes and opportunities? When I was younger, sexism seemed natural. Pink was for girls and blue was for boys. I couldn’t wait to grow out of that shell and finally be able to see eye to eye with my male counterparts. When that didn’t happen, I began to question whether this was solely my fault or the beginning of a bigger issue.

It’s as if men and women are on opposite sides of the same coin. The social construction of sexuality has caused others to believe that men and women have different intellectual and psychological abilities. Considering the knowledge of modern society, the misguided notion that separates men and women in social and economic status is inherently unfair.

By showing awareness of this issue, we can break the glass ceiling and build a better future on top.

Stephanie Pham

Kansas City