In response to the editorial by Phillip J. Migliore in the July 12 issue of The Macon County News, I would like to ask for clarification for some of his comments. Mr. Migliore stated that his heroes growing up were “the early pioneers that made our country prosperous”…“were creators of wealth not takers.” Mr. Migliore, were you referring to the Railroad Barons that hired thugs to intimidate and kill anyone in the way of their railroad progress? Were you referring to the plantation pioneers that made black Africans into slaves to make themselves rich? Were you referring to the early pioneers that killed the natives that were here for over ten thousand years and took their land in the name of progress? That used what you called “wilderness” to sustain their very existence. Or were you referring to the Wild West that your hero John Wayne represented in Hollywood movies where there was no law and only the person with the fastest gun was right? We could go back to those times but I do not think that most Americans would like the consequences of those regressions.
Mr. Migliore, I agree, our country was built on the labors of people from the bottom up. The slaves in the South, the sweatshop workers in the North, the emigrants that built our railroads, and all the other people that labored and died to make this country great.
I agree that not all government programs have helped but it is extremely hypocritical to state “I am fortunate to have mine” in referring to Social Security when claiming that “Government programs have not helped solve our problems.”
We do not need any more John Waynes that represent the Wild West of forced evection and indiscriminate killing. What we need is for the wealthy to pay up for the opportunity they were given to make their fortunes in this great country. Not to be so self-centered and greedy. They can afford to pay more so the real backbone of America, the workers, can pay less. We do need to rein in spending but not at the cost of social programs that help millions of Americans make ends meet. If the government would make the wealthy pay their fair share, we could be out of debt and our grandchildren would not be left to pay for our over indulgences.
Stephen White — Franklin, N.C.