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Hardworking woman

Sharon Miller wanted to know why my mother had 13 kids. Sharon, sorry to tell you, but my mother did not give birth to 13 kids; she gave birth to eight kids, five boys and three girls. My father and his wife had five kids, three boys and two girls. I am the oldest.

My mother was a very hardworking woman; she was a seamstress and a chef. She and my grandmother made quilts and did a lot of canning.

Why I said my mother made her kids work was because we were raised on a large farm in Florida. Through the week was school, and weekends and summers we worked on our farm.

If you have never lived on a farm, you should. It is a lot of work and a lot of fun. We always had a large garden and every fruit you could name. That farm taught me how to work and how to care for others--something we do not see anymore. By the way, we still own the property, and it is still beautiful.

I still say to young kids that if you cannot afford a baby, leave the babies alone. Babies need diapers, food, clothes, love from both parents, education, a roof over their heads--and not the grandparents' roof. I will still say that if you can't spell sex, leave it alone.

JULIA RANDLE

Jacksonville

Basic income policy

As the 2020 election gets closer, we have seen a variety of policy proposals from the field of Democratic hopefuls to address wealth disparity, but one proposal stands out. Democratic hopeful Andrew Yang proposes the implementation of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1,000 per month for every American over the age of 18. This policy aims to mitigate the long-term effects of job loss due to automation, which experts believe one-third of all jobs are subject to in the next 12 years.

While the concept might seem "too good to be true," it is a deeply American idea. Thomas Paine supported it at our country's founding. Martin Luther King Jr. championed the concept in the '60s, as did 1,000 economists who signed a letter to Nixon requesting income guarantees. It even passed the House of Representatives in the Nixon administration before stalling in the Senate. The non-discriminatory nature of a UBI would help all Americans, which is contrary in nature to current welfare programs.

Funded by a 10 percent Value Added Tax--a production tax on goods and services--UBI recipients would have the choice to receive their current welfare benefits or $1,000 cash unrestricted. Data suggests that most Americans would rather allocate resources in the way they best believe is fit rather than allowing the federal government to do it for them. A knee-jerk reaction argument is often made to this point, something along the lines of "Won't people just spend their money on dumb things like drugs and alcohol?" In studies, it's shown that many people tend to decrease alcohol and drug use after receiving a similar cash payment. The idea that poor people will be irresponsible with their money and squander it seems to be a biased stereotype rather than a truth.

While a UBI could never fully supplement the incomes of the millions of call-center workers, truck drivers, and manufacturing workers at risk of losing their jobs due to automation, it could alleviate financial burden for millions of American families.

BRANDON LUGO

Conway

Justifiably befuddled

Like many Americans, I am a homeowner. Like many, I am a struggling homeowner. I retired at 62. Now I am, in my opinion, poor. I am in negotiation to modify the 30-year loan to make ownership financially possible. Without some relief, I will probably lose the house.

Over the course of the 14 years I have lived here I have had three different loan servicers. Having to pay three different companies my monthly mortgage payment piqued my curiosity. Who am I really paying?

When first looking for a place to call home, I was approved by FHA with a loan guarantee. In order to get approved, I had to pay an insurance premium every month ($25 to $35) for about 13 years. (FYI: Now homeowners have to pay for the entire loan length.) I thought that the FHA insurance policy would have the beneficiary listed so I could start there and search forward in time to the current owner of the note. I was told by the FHA representative that I could not have a copy of the policy because the beneficiary wanted to remain anonymous.

Let me understand this. I paid $3,000-plus in insurance premiums over 13 years and I don't get a copy of the policy? I pay auto, life, homeowners insurance and I always get a policy so I know what I am covered for. I feel befuddlement creeping in. Does this policy even exist? Why does the beneficiary have to remain anonymous? Will his/her spouse be mad if he/she finds out there is a policy? Is this a matter of national security? OMG ... legal thoughts creeping in. Is this theft by deception? Full throttle befuddlement is approaching!

Is my befuddlement justified? Is there a cure? OK, I might look at things a bit warped, but for those buying a new house, think about this. Hypothetically if you buy a house for $150,000 and have to pay FHA tens of thousands in insurance premiums over 30 years, don't you think you should be able to at least see the policy you are paying for? Don't be the one to get befuddled like me. It's not a fun place for the brain to be.

JAMES MARK

Lonoke

Warnings unheeded

Rep. Steve Womack and Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman: As one of your unrepresented constituents, I'd remind you of a member of your own party's warnings about Trump: "He's a race-baiting xenophobic religious bigot," and "We would get slaughtered as a party if Donald Trump is our nominee, and quite frankly, we would deserve it."

Well, gentlemen, prepare for the slaughter. I presume that you, being race-baiters yourself and representing a majority racist state, will remain in office, but once again, as it should be, you will be America's unseen and embarrassing minority.

MARK EASTBURN

Eureka Springs

Editorial on 01/06/2020

Print Headline: Letters

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