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There’s no fairytale in America

WHERE did Matt Cooper (Opinion, April 29) visit? If his sample was DisneyWorld, his conclusions are equally fantastical.

Americans aren’t complaining? The only ones who are not complaining are either too depressed to complain — or too rich.

Also, many of us would welcome a tax raise on the corporations which don’t pay any taxes and on the super rich who don’t pay anything near their share. And, as for excessive government spending? The only excesses were the global wars and the shameless bailouts-without-conditions. In both categories, Europe seems equally guilty.

If, by “excessive spending” Cooper is referring to social security/Medicare, he would do well to examine why those programmes are touted as be in danger of folding.

Contrary to the enacting legislation, social security receipts were never to be spent on any other programme. However, in a shameless act of fiscal treachery, Congress has been “borrowing” from these funds for decades, with the result that they have exchanged a trillion dollars of social security deposits for US Treasury notes.

Older workers taking tickets at amusement parks? No joke. They wouldn’t be eating if they didn’t. So, they stand on arthritic knees and make nice to foreigners like Mr Cooper.

If they thought for a minute that their pleasant miens and behaviour would drive yet another nail in their coffin, they would have given him the raspberry.

So, if there is any message to take home to the Irish people it is, trust your own experience, read the fine print, ask questions, question authority, and don’t listen to anyone who would cross a dangerous ocean to see Mickey Mouse.

Dr Kathleen O’C-Hoekstra

New York



It is the fourth of May, 2007. I am coming home from work, tired and scrolling through images of Trapani, Sicily - our holiday destination in a few weeks. Nothing remarkable about the journey, until I read the story of a missing girl in Praia De Luz, Portugal.Learning Points: Give Madeleine McCann's family the space to put their lives back together

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