Forum, Feb. 25: Column on Aging was a Drag

Saturday, February 24, 2018
Column on Aging was a Drag

I realize that Dan Mackie’s commentary on aging was intended to be funny (“Aging’s a Drag (on the Economy),” Feb. 17)”, but some of his comments and the headline the paper chose were anything but. Older folks don’t have to be a drag on the economy. Being 66, aging is something I think a lot about, and have for some time. I feel better prepared for it than most. It can be a blessing as much as a curse for both individuals and communities. I, for one, am happy to no longer have raging hormones or a need to prove myself.

Other areas of the country have embraced their aging populations and have prospered because of it. Florida, Arizona and Nevada come to mind. Older folks generally have more money, are more politically aware and active, and often have more time to volunteer for positive community programs. If we continue to work, we have experience that still counts for something and we can build wealth that we can later contribute to worthy causes.

I intend to stay at my job until I’m asked to leave or they haul me out on a gurney. Last I heard, my contributions are valued. I am a big proponent of hiring the young and training them, but it’s hard to compete with the attractions of large metropolitan areas and we get few suitable applicants.

I am concerned about the increasing cost of my health care. I didn’t ask for osteoarthritis or skin cancer, but I try to compensate by eating right and getting good exercise. Studies also have shown that people who work beyond retirement age stay healthier and happier. Too many people retire and then die soon after. I don’t intend to be one of them.

Peter Magoon


Why Are Animals Treated This Way?

Thanks to Lucy Goodrum for her letter focusing the spotlight on a reality that most would prefer to ignore (“A Slaughterhouse of Horrors,” Feb. 3). How could a slaughterhouse be anything but?

It amazes and horrifies me that, in 2018, in the progressive state of Vermont, with no lack of information on the benefits of a plant-based diet to the environment and to one’s health, and on the sentience of animals — and especially in the interest of truly treating animals with respect and dignity — the situation she described is still so prevalent. For what?

Most people I know wouldn’t dream of slaughtering, dismembering and eating their pets. Why is it such a stretch to give the same consideration to their relatives?

Susan Malerich

Bridgewater, Vt.

There Is Hope for Capitalism

The businesses of our country now have their greatest opportunity to provide significant social improvements that can ensure the long-term growth of our economy. Recognizing the fact that the government has not, and most likely will not, effectively address the issues of education, environment, health, retirement, etc., businesses, with their recent and substantial tax reductions, can take on this challenge. I think that there will be a significant threat to capitalism if this windfall is passed on only to the shareholders.

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world’s largest investment firm, recently wrote a brilliant letter to his counterparts at the largest publicly traded companies outlining BlackRock’s “Sense of Purpose” strategy. Simply stated, Fink said BlackRock would base investing decisions on whether the companies have programs to address the interests of all the constituencies they serve (employees, suppliers, the community, etc.), not just the shareholders. This is a profound strategy and I hope it works.

Bill Tate


Military Spending Busts the Budget

Looking at our unbalanced federal budget, the problem is easy to see: $700-plus billion for the military-industrial complex and weaponry. Couldn’t we get by on maybe only half a trillion dollars? Is being able to reduce any country to dust what makes America great?

Stephen Neirman

East Thetford

A Sextet of Singing Quartets

The North Country Chordsmen, whose six barbershop quartets on Valentine’s Day delivered 100 “Singing Valentines” to individual homes, offices, restaurants and other venues from Woodsville to Warner to Randolph to Canaan, would like to thank the Upper Valley residents and businesses who hired us to bring a little love to their spouses, friends, co-workers and patrons.

Besides raising money for the not-for-profit chorus to pay royalties to musicians and publishers of the music we use, Singing Valentines provide an opportunity to demonstrate the joy of singing in harmony to many who might not otherwise have experienced this art form. We apologize that we had to cap the number of Singing Valentines delivered, but 100 is about all that is physically possible for six quartets to deliver over the 12 hours from 8 a.m to 8 p.m., given the 40-mile radius offered this year.

The best way for us to increase our reach is for you to join us in song. We invite men of all ages to experience a North Country Chordsmen rehearsal on any Tuesday evening, starting at 7, at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, 40 College St., in Hanover.  We provide printed music, recorded learning tracks, voice coaching, camaraderie and much more, and we cater to guests.

We look forward to entertaining the Upper Valley throughout the coming year, and especially at our annual show, scheduled for Sept. 22.

Bruce Pacht


Lots to Love at Etna Library

From now until March 16, it is “Love My Library” time at the Etna Library. During this event, we display an array of beautiful new books to be added to the collection. When you select a book to donate to the library, a bookplate will be placed in the item with your name or the name of someone you wish to honor.

For more information about the “Love My Library” event, or to learn about our other programs, visit www.hanovernh.org/etna-library, call 603-643-3116 or e-mail etna.library@hanovernh.org.

Barbara Prince, Librarian

Etna Library