I was visiting my son in Ann Arbor when I read Matthew Green’s column (A greed-fueled culture, 02/16/2009). Ironically, like Mr. Green, I also passed a homeless man on my way to the Union on State St. Instead of wanting to give him money, however, I wished I could give him a job. In fact, many of the “greedy” business people that Mr. Green cites in his article have provided jobs for hundreds of people.

A recent article in the Detroit News talks about the new leader of the Michigan Republican Party, Ron Weiser (Ann Arbor mogul takes reins of GOP, 02/21/2009). He graduated in 1966 from the University of Michigan with a business degree. But, unlike many of our “leaders” in Congress, he does not have a graduate degree. His Ann Arbor-based real estate firm currently manages more than $2.2 billion in assets across the country. Some people may call that “greedy”. However, who knows how many people Weiser prevented from being homeless because he provided them with a job? He did not do this out of sympathy. Weiser needed construction workers to build his offices, secretaries to run them and real estate agents to sell real estate.

The legislators on Capital Hill do not have any money to create jobs. They use our taxpayers’ money and decide how and where to spend that money, based on public policies. I do not think Thomas Jefferson would fund a School of Public Policy. His own policy was one of “laissez faire” — letting the people be. When people are allowed to make their own decisions, some may succeed and some fail. But everyone in America has the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and try again. When Americans do succeed, they provide jobs and ample opportunities for other Americans.

Michele Zabawa

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