National Geographic : 2011 Jul
I disagree with those who say we can't pay for older people's pensions. All we need to do is change policies in four areas: 1 Extend pension eligibility age gradually. 2 Move away from income and toward consumption taxes, so that everyone contributes. 3 Compel everyone to save for retirement. 4 Develop postretirement, part-time work arrangements. It is false logic to propose having more babies in order to pay for retirement pensions. What happens when those babies get old? GORDON PAYNE South Fremantle, Australia History: Peace Corps Rising Your article about the fluctua- fl tions of volunteer numbers from 1961 to recently was great, and as a current volunteer, I appreciate the publicity. Yet I had a problem with the photo showing the vintage fire-starting fi kit. Without reading the caption, I would have thought that the tools belonged to a volunteer in the 1960s. Instead they are from a 2005-07 service. It seems that Americans are often given the idea that Peace Corps volunteers venture to the deepest corners of the world to show people how a wheel and axle work. The tools in the photo send an incorrect message of the status of the Third World. Sure, at the moment I am sitting in my mud hut listening to termites chomp away on my thatch roof. But I am also sending this email with my Internet-accessible cell phone. The whole world is advancing, not just the First World. CHUCK CASCIO Petauke, Zambia Before seeing the Peace Corps increase volunteer numbers, I'd like to see it decide its direction and future. Is it about making friends for America? About sustainability? About helping people realize their dreams? Or is it merely more government public relations? I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), working in Africa until 2001. A year later I was in eastern Europe with the Peace Corps. I can only com- pare these organizations in the administrative and geographic areas I experienced, differences in volunteer preparedness (emotional as well as training), objective outcomes, volunteer satisfaction and dedication, and leadership. My eight years with the HFHI changed me forever. Peace Corps was a regrettable use of taxpayer dollars. EVELYN WARAWKA Ketchikan, Alaska We're not the only ones who recommend it all day long. Aleve is #1 Doctor Recommended *for Arthritis Pain.** Just 2 Aleve have the strength to keep arthritis, back and joint pain away all day. It would take 8 Extra Strength Tylenol®‡ to do that. 2 Pills. All Day Strong. All Day Long. *WKH Data 2010. Survey of orthopedic surgeons. **Use as directed for minor arthritis pain. ‡Comparison to Extra Strength Tylenol based on minimum label dosing for 24 hours. © 2011 Bayer HealthCare LLC.