Letters to the editor

May. 31, 2013 @ 05:42 PM

U.S. can take lead on nutrition

Imagine not being able to provide your child with the food that provides nutrients necessary for growth and cognitive development. 

In our state young children, pregnant women, low-income seniors and people with disabilities could be negatively affected by the U.S. Senate’s failure to pass the amendment to the Senate Farm bill that would have restored funding cut from SNAP (food stamps). Both senators Hagan and Burr voted against the Gillibrand amendment.  The severe impacts of the cuts to these vulnerable citizens cannot be over-emphasized.   Our senators and congressman should support the nutrition programs, not undercut them.

In the world, one-quarter of all children suffer from malnutrition. Each year 2.5 million children die and 165 million survive but are developmentally challenged because of the lack of proper nutrition. Nutrition programs targeting women and children during the critical 1,000 days from pregnancy to age 2 offer the best returns on investment; every $1 invested in nutrition generates as much as $138 in better health and increased productivity. Under-nutrition can cost individuals up to 10 percent of their lifetime earnings and countries up to 11 percent of their annual GDP in lost productivity. We need to support nutrition programs because they are the most effective way to end poverty.

Only .30 percent of U.S. foreign assistance is spent on nutrition. June 8 at the Nutrition for Growth Summit the U.S. can take the global lead on food security and health by pledging $450 million annually between 2014 and 2016 for global nutrition programs.

Janice Dareff
Chapel Hill

Contrasting reactions

Four Americans die in Benghazi from a terrorist attack on this president’s watch and the Republicans hold nine hearings --- and counting --- looking to get to the bottom of it.

Forty-four thousand Americans die every year here at home from a lack of health insurance --- and the Republicans could give a shiitake mushroom.

Lou Meyers

Durham

‘Insourcing’ jobs

Most Americans believe job creation should be the first priority of Congress. Unbeknownst to many citizens, a 1,000-page Senate bill, S744, will be voted on in early June. Its bipartisan drafters do not want this bill to be vetted for good reasons -- the impact will be devastating for America’s unemployed workers while at the same time driving down wages at all skill levels.

S744 floods America with foreign job seekers, in numbers proponents refuse to quantify, despite America’s bleak employment picture. S744 doubles the number of legal, predominantly low-skilled immigrants to 30,000,000 over the next decade,  putting them into direct competition with America’s working poor, a disproportionate number being African-American. The low-skilled unemployment rate is more than double the national average.

At the other end of the job spectrum, S744 doubles/triples the number of H1B high-skilled visas and gives permanent residence to foreign nationals graduating with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees at American universities. The fact is many American STEM grads cannot find employment!

It appears this new 'insourcing' of foreign job seekers, permanently debasing wages and sending more Americans to the unemployment lines, will replace decades of outsourcing jobs overseas.

Do our North Carolina senators support this?

Joy Cooke

Pittsboro