To the editor: I found it increasingly hard to breathe while reading portions of the report on poverty in the U.S. by Philip Alston, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
To read so glaringly from an international source that the United States has the highest inequality of the richest nations, the highest incarceration rate and the lowest levels of voter registration raises the question: Who are we, as a people, when we tolerate the conditions that keep so many so devastated?
This report needs to be a clarion call to each of us not only to demand campaign finance reform, but also to be citizens who are deaf to the noise of politicians. We must study thoroughly the candidates and issues, believe that each voice counts, and then actually go out and vote.
Mary Leah Plante, Los Angeles
To the editor: The print version of this article ran directly adjacent to an advertisement for Rolex watches.
This reminds me a bit of the revolutionary attitude and atmosphere under the surface in that old “Star Trek” episode, “The Cloud Minders.” In that show, the aloofness of the aristocratic cloud dwellers stood in stark contrast to the reality of the toiling troglodytes on the surface below.
Todd Smilovitz, Los Angeles