It's up to ordinary citizens to help the nation's poor

Published: Friday, January 24, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 10:24 p.m.

This is in response to Geoff Pietsch's letter (Jan. 9), "Clarett shows maturity." I agree that Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett showed great insight when he noted that he and his team were staying in a nice hotel because of a game, when hundreds of thousands in our country are poor and hungry every day.

However, that point is where my agreement with Pietsch ends.

As a student at UF, I am frequently bombarded with the ideology that the government should take care of people, especially the poor and needy.

Pietsch seems to believe the same since he complains that the president and Congress are too busy giving "tax cuts to wealthy individuals and corporations" in order to find funds to help the poor.

I strongly advocate helping the poor, but this is not the government's job. This job belongs to you and me: ordinary people who should take the time ourselves to love and take care of those in need. Why should we let others, like the government, do this work for us?

The government's main roles are to maintain the law and the defense of the country. Shame on us if we expect them to take the responsibility, the privilege, of caring for our fellow man.

Tax cuts for the wealthy may seem unfair on the surface because we tend to think the wealthy are, well, wealthy and don't need more money.

Yet, the top wage earners in our country are the ones who own the corporations that provide many of our jobs. Heavily taxing those in charge of creating jobs is self-defeating. If they have less money, we have less jobs and the economy is less productive.

Finally, our "enormous military buildup" is not to impose American imperialism on the rest of the world. The fact is we are currently the only superpower in the world, which makes us a target for hate and envy as well as a friend and ally for those countries in need.

Along with the UN (in which we are the major source of power), we are the world's peacekeeping force.

Granted, we have not done a very decent job of keeping the peace as of late, but this is all the reason more why our military should be at its peak condition.

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