Melissa Souza (Letters, Sept. 16) cited "facts" chiding Republican policy for contributing to disparity of wealth and high poverty levels in the U.S. There are many factors that contribute to our current economic malaise -- international competition, high taxes, high deficits, etc. One always-overlooked element of perpetual poverty is the dependence of U.S. citizens on the government.
As a conservative, I don't see those who are not self-sufficient as lazy, as she claimed. I seem them as practical. Why work a job making $10-20 an hour when you can make that much through government programs and stay home? Sadly this is shortsighted and robs millions of Americans of the ability to learn about life, interpersonal relationships, etc., vis-a-vis a job. Work skills help people advance to better paying jobs and create a more well-rounded citizenry. As work skills advance, workers are likely to contribute to greater productivity including creating new products and services as entrepreneurs or as contributing employees.
Those living in poverty while relying only on government funding, likely will never leave the poverty cycle. Working-class people living in poverty likely will see even low-income work as a stepping stone to something better and will benefit them and the country.
SCOTT GEARHEART, Kennewick