Kid Power


have been made to think I’m irresponsible for allowing my children, ages 7 to 14, to walk to school, ride their bikes to tennis lessons, and stay home alone for short periods (Is It Just Me? “Let’s Stop Scaring Our Kids”). When will society give its permission for my children to do things that make them capable, confident individuals not afraid of their own shadows?
Col l een Da me, Petaluma, California

Hoorah for Lenore Skenazy’s courage. She recognized her son was mature enough to ride the subway alone. Our children need to be nourished in mind and body, but they don’t need to be coddled so much that we smother them. Vicky Mummert, Colorado Springs, Colorado
sary spending is a smart way to save, and he also learned the value of service to others. That is exactly the way we need to think in order to live better, happier lives.
Lisa Fusco, Stanfordville, New York


My two boys, ages 11 and 13, are constantly asking me for more freedom and independence, but I don’t think a parent can be too careful today. No mother has ever regretted keeping her children as safe as possible, but there are mothers who regret not keeping them safe enough.
Sharon Nickerson,
North Brookfield, Massachusetts

Deal Detective

Savvy Saver



avid Hochman’s article, “My Family’s No-Buy Experiment,” was especially timely given the state of the economy. Cutting unneces-

inally, frugality is fashionable (“Get a Great Deal on Anything”). No longer do my friends laugh at my great garage-sale and thrift-store finds. Now they join me in the hunt to reuse, recycle, and save money. With Americans tight11 12/08

ening their budgets, I foresee a nation of bargain hunters. I should have kept this secret to myself.
K rishna Morgenroth,
Corpus Christi, Texas

Wisdom Shared

need to understand that it’s not about them or their shareholders but about the workers who get up every day and work 60 hours a week just to survive. Now my taxes will have to pay for their greed in the form of a bailout.
Chery l Pagano, Greensburg, Pennsylvania


ane Goodall’s words about compassion for animals and the environment are inspiring (“What I’ve Learned”). My mother loved animals, and our house was a home for many pets when my brother and I were growing up. Her gift to us was a deep respect for them. Now I think carefully about what I eat, buy, J ud y Tayl or-Atkinson, and support.
Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada

Rx for Change


s a practicing pharmacist for more than 14 years, I appreciated the information in “Thirteen Things Your Pharmacist Won’t Tell You” (The Digest). These items are so true, and the list goes on and on. Thanks for sharing this.
Julie Wil kinson, Alexandria, Louisiana

Need and Greed


ichael Crowley hit the nail on the head: Corporate greed has run rampant (Outrageous! “Runaway Taxes”). The “greed is good” mantra from Wall Street has become a way of life for corporate CEOs. They

As a pharmacist, I’d like to add one thing to the list: People need to take some responsibility for their health care. If you wait until you run out of medication and have no more refills, there’s little I can do. Yes, I will try to reach your doctor, but don’t get mad at me if he doesn’t answer my phone call.
Dawn Szylw in,
Auburn, Washington

The Legacy


hank you for “The Gift,” about Ish and Arlene Hatch, the frugal farmers who left a secret fortune for our community. I had Mrs. Hatch as my math teacher in middle 12/08

A Message to Our Readers
Please beware of fake-check scams.

Con artists are preying on consumers and fraudulently using the names of trusted companies like Reader’s Digest. Some scams mimic prize award notifications. Victims receive a phony check and are asked to return a portion of the winnings to the sender. Remember, a legitimate sweepstakes never asks an entrant or a winner to pay money to collect a prize. If someone says you’ve won and asks for payment of any kind, contact the National Consumers League at 1701 K St. NW, Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20006, or go to Learn more at school and have fond memories of her class. The Hatches had big hearts. Our area will never forget them. Ca rol y n Ca va na ugh, Alto, Michigan It’s a shame the Hatches’ house may not stay in the family because so much of the inheritance money

went toward taxes. This article should be required reading for our legislators. It’s a firsthand account of what the death tax can do to an estate. T homa s W. May, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Time to Move?


have visited Kivalina, Alaska, the village that’s melting into the sea because of climate change (“Land’s End”). There are wonderful people and nice homes there. I wish the government would move the residents to another location.
Judy Chase, Roseburg, Oregon

It appears the good folks of Kivalina have become well versed in a chorus of “you owe me.” To demand compensatory damages from others and blame them for the village’s demise is absurd. I don’t object to the Inupiats’ lifestyle choices, but they live on a sandbar, and sandbars are constantly expanding and eroding. Anyone anywhere who chooses to reside on one is taking an obvious risk.
J. Bruce Anderson, New Castle, Pennsylvania

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