Saddling our children with pointless debt 

I wonder how I would feel if my parents’ generation had left me a debt like my generation is leaving to my 8-year-old son’s generation. My parents may have left some debt, but it was for things worthwhile — debt for infrastructure, highways, public universities and a strong military — which is not a bad thing. Those expenses secure and build toward a future that benefits everyone.

But when I think of the debt left to my 8-year-old, it’s for what — pensions and health care benefits for retirees, social programs? Certainly it isn’t for much of anything that will benefit him or his generation.

If a government shutdown is needed to stop the runaway process, shut it down. It might be the only way to regain control.

Matt Grocott, San Carlos

Crushing cost of living

I overheard a woman in Oakland say that all her grown kids had moved to Texas. Minorities can own homes and live a quality lifestyle there, she said. This matches what the preliminary results of the 2010 census have documented.

I too moved from the Bay Area to Texas as a young adult. I cherish the six years I spent in Austin and now recognize the incredible freedom we have in the United States, where we can explore diverse new places and work legally.

Good-paying jobs are plentiful across Texas while California is in crisis.

Unfortunately many people in San Francisco are tied to their rent-controlled apartments and feel they can never afford to leave. Marriages are postponed because the cheap apartment is too small for two. Meanwhile, union devotees object to Texas’ “right to work” laws.

Judy West, San Francisco

Help kids read for meaning

Pleasure drives reading for children who love to read. So why don’t more children love to read? Children become good readers when they read for meaning. Children only read for story and if they are working too hard at reading the words, they cannot get to the story. Offer children books where they can easily get to the story and talk with them about the story. There is no magic formula for raising children who love to read but there is a winning equation. Read a book, ask a question, start a conversation.

Diane W. Frankenstein, San Francisco

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