Letters to the editor: Nov. 20-21

The Shawnee News-Star

'Great help with Medicare Part D'

Dear editor,

The COEDD Area Agency on Aging offers price comparison of Part D prescription plans. For help in comparing plan prices, call Kristi Tischer at 405-273-6410, Ext. 128. She can also enroll you in a new plan if you wish to change. I will save over $200 a year because of a plan change. This is all done over the phone and is very easy to do.

Rosalyn Kalmar

Shawnee

***

 

'For better and worse, we’re all connected'

Dear editor,

It’s a cliché to say that everything’s connected. But we live in a world where this is clearly true. Ideas, goods, services, workers, tourists, commerce, communications, drugs, crime, migrants, refugees, weapons, climate impacts… and, of course, viruses: They all cross borders constantly.

This is one reason I’ve come to believe that drawing a distinction between “foreign” and “domestic” policy, while often helpful, is also misleading. Globalization essentially means that we can’t escape the impact of what’s happening in other countries and regions around the globe, either at the policy level in Washington or on the street where you live.

This is often beneficial. The free movement of goods and services from this country to others builds our economy and creates jobs. Likewise, imported goods and services have provided many American consumers with a quality of life that would have been unthinkable a generation ago. The relatively free flow of ideas, cultural life, and people with talent, skill, or ambition, have enriched this country and many others.

Yet managing globalization is also a clear challenge, because it’s not only the good stuff that goes along with it. The work of government—not just at the federal level, but in our states, counties, and cities and towns—is to find ways of promoting what’s good and mitigating what’s bad.

Sometimes, this takes global coordination. The UN Climate Conference taking place in Scotland is one clear example.

Sometimes, this demands clear-headed national strategies. When factory workers are thrown out of work, farmers are disrupted by competition from overseas, or over-dependence on the global supply chain proves to be a vulnerability, as during the pandemic, these demand thoughtful policy change from the federal government.

And at the local level, the forces of globalization clearly require a community response. Maybe it’s finding ways of assimilating and educating migrant workers or refugees. Maybe it’s helping small farms connect with local markets that will boost their chances of success and help feed surrounding communities.

The point is that the forces of globalization are with us whether we like it or not, and we can’t ignore them. We’re affected by what takes place everywhere else, and both at home and in the halls of power we have to understand and manage it. It’s inevitable that we’ll face challenges and disruption. Our task is to recognize the opportunities and spread the benefits.

Lee Hamilton

Hamilton is a Senior Advisor for the Indiana University Center on Representative Government; a Distinguished Scholar and a Professor of Practice. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.