February 19, 2006

Money Magazine Article - All in the Family

Below is a letter sent to the writer and the editor of Money Magazine regarding an article that appeared on page 116 of theMarch 2006 issue. As always, I want to know your thoughts on the subject.

When I turned the page of the March issue of Money magazine and saw the picture of two women holding hands (All in the Family, page 116), I immediately knew the article was going to be about a homosexual couple. I was furious. I would expect that type of article in a magazine by Rosie or Ellen, not in my Money magazine. I was tempted to rip that section right out of the magazine, but I restrained myself and just skipped over it.

Later that evening while I was reading a study booklet about the Ten Commandments, (ironically the study lesson for the evening was on the seventh commandment, for more information see Exodus Chapter 20) I knew I needed to read your article and viscously respond to it.

I was expecting an article about how to “get around” the law and “beat the system”. However, after reading the article very closely, I did not see one sentence where you describe to them how to find any loopholes in the system. Instead, you simply give them advice to minimize their problem (which is, in my opinion, exactly what you are supposed to do). In fact, you clearly state to them that the law is not on their side and if they want to live that kind of lifestyle they are on their own. There were no opinions or judgments about their lifestyle or future plans to have another child. There wasn’t even a comment about how they blew much of the profit from the sale of their townhouse on furnishing their new house. I guess greed does not discriminate against race, gender, or sexual orientation.

The advice offered is sound advice that really applies to most people whether in a marriage or living a single life. Wills are important for pretty much everyone, attacking debt is critical to maintaining a healthy financial life, and saving is important not only for retirement, but for emergency situations as well. You even pointed out their financial mistake of signing up for domestic partner health benefits.

While I believe that homosexual or domestic partnership relations are wrong and hopefully will not be recognized by the government, there will still be many people that will want to practice that lifestyle, unfortunately. In this case, there is a child involved, and it is important that the child not pay for errors that the parent(s) make.

Thanks for offering the advice and writing the article, however, I hope I don’t see too many more articles of this nature in your publication.

Thoughts from Doe Valley

Wesley Matthews
Strongstown, PA


Anonymous said...

Mr. Matthews,

You bring up some very valid points in both of your blogs. I was wondering if you might offer some input on a topic of my choice. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal today under politics and economics called “Should Illegal Immigrants Get Tuition Help?” Seeing that you went to school for several years you must understand the costs of tuition and the burden of getting either financial aid or scholarships. By having illegal immigrants tap into those funds means the local citizens are going to fight more to get aid or there will be less aid to distribute. There are currently nine states that are allowing illegal immigrants to attend public colleges for in-state student fees. Democrats state that this bill is a matter of compassion and economic calculation. I feel exactly the opposite. All these immigrants pouring into our system, estimated around 11 million currently here with another 400,000 thousand new every year, are hurting our system. They are taking away valuable jobs from people and do not pay taxes. Yet they cost the government time and money in order to stop them from coming over, catching them when they get by and finally sending them back over. All this costs the taxpayers money. This does not sound like a good economic calculation by the democrats.

Some states are trying to repeal this bill, but are running into some problems. These problems are also affecting any type of immigration overhaul. My question for you is, if these illegal immigrants become citizens what is the impact going to be on the economy. I don’t think that they should be here in the first place, but it seems the cost of returning them to their country far out weights keeping them as citizens. There are probably always going to be here anyway, we might as well collect taxes from them and try to have them improve our economy instead of hinder it. Getting back to the tuition, I believe it is not only unfair but also unlawful for some states to let illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition fees. If anything they should have to pay more in order to compensate for the taxes they are not paying. What are your thoughts on this and how do you think it would affect our economy.

Your Fellow Economist

Wesley Matthews said...

You are correct. Illegal immigrants that are given aid are taking away aid for those legally living in the United States. The immigants that enter the country illegally should not usually be granted citizenship just because they were able to "break into" the country. Some immigrants who enter the country (illegally)that are seeking policital assylum or are fleeing from other similar situations should be protected. However, this is not the norm for most illegal immigrants. Most come to the United States looking for a better way of life and in most cases will find it by circumventing the system.

The United States should allow immigrants to enter the country legally following the laws that have been established, giving them work visa's for a specified time. Only after their work visa has expired should they be considered for citizenship. This process will thereby allow the government to collect taxes that can be used to fund the necessary programs needed.

There isn't an easy answer though, like you stated, it does cost a large amount of money to patrol the borders and it can cost a lot more money to send the immigrants back to their home countries.

As long as the US is the land of opportunity and freedom, people from all over the world will want to immigrate into it.