I read with interest the article by Jay Nordlinger, “The State of Maine,” in the August 11 issue. He discusses, among other things, the recent influx of Somali immigrants. I have something to say about it, too. In the face of an aging population and an ongoing exodus of young people, the addition of Somalis could be seen as a benefit. This youthful community has opened businesses selling ethnic products, especially in towns like Lewiston, which have been hurt by decades of deindustrialization. In fact, Charles Colgan of the University of Southern Maine estimates that nearly half of all small retail stores opened recently in Portland are immigrant-owned. With proper support from state and local officials, these unlikely pockets of entrepreneurialism could help ease an overstressed welfare system and contribute to a much-needed economic revival in the Pine Tree State.
The Higher Cost of Higher Ed
Richard Vedder’s “Subsidized Decline” (August 25) certainly hit home. As the parent of six children, all of whom attended private colleges, I have lived out the dilemma of which he wrote. For many years, I watched the dollar amount of Stafford loans regularly increase. Invariably, regardless of the institution, that increase, designed to make college more “affordable,” was followed by a letter from the college explaining the need for a tuition increase far in excess of the Stafford increase. Despite Senator Warren’s protestations, my children have not missed a payment! Why not stop the meddling and let the free market work its magic?
In “The Week” (September 8), Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was incorrectly identified as “Darrell Wilson.”