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Letters to the Editor – The New York Times

Barely Afloat in America

To the Editor:

Perhaps the only way this country will change its sociopolitical allegiances is with the recognition that not “making it” is not a personal fault to feel guilty about or to strive to overcome. Alissa Quart’s “Squeezed: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America,” as reviewed by Emily Cooke (July 15), demonstrates that the problem is not personal but structural. The last time this was clearly seen by many Americans was during the Great Depression, when people well established in the middle class resorted to selling apples on the street. The New Deal sought to solve the structural problems we had, but years of Republican regression and Democratic lack of commitment eroded its achievements. We need a new New Deal.

NORMAN RAVITCH
SAVANNAH, GA.

To the Editor:

Robert B. Reich’s review of Annie Lowrey’s “Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World” and Andrew Yang’s “The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future” (July 15) omits one of the crucial benefits of the scheme: It would promote mobility. Being able to buy a cheap used car, a commutation ticket or a one-way bus ticket would enable poor Americans, confined to remote trailer camps or public housing projects or living in regions where jobs are scarce, to find and hold jobs.

MONTE WASCH
NEW LEBANON, N.Y.

Shoe Biz

To the Editor:

I was disappointed in Ash Carter’s review of “Kicks: The Great American Story of Sneakers” (July 8), which contained absolutely no mention of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers! When I was a high school basketball player in the 1960s, there was only one sneaker worn by all my teammates and all the teams we played: Chuck Taylor All Stars. A discussion of sneakers without Chuck Taylor is like a discussion of basketball without Springfield’s Mr. Naismith.

TERRENCE MCCARTHY
CAROLINA SHORES, N.C.

The Times welcomes letters from readers. Letters for publication should include the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Letters should be addressed to The Editor, The New York Times Book Review, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018. The email address is books@nytimes.com. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. We regret that because of the large volume of mail received, we are unable to acknowledge or to return unpublished letters.

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