Letters to the editor | The Economist

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Letters are welcome by email to [email protected]

Supporting the ruling of the ECJ

Your article on the European Court of Justice judgment on public registers of beneficial ownership, a decision you suggest will make it harder to track dirty money, misses several crucial points (“Laundry softener “, 3 December). The records include all companies in the European Union, thus capturing millions of ordinary businesses (for example, a hair salon or a bakery) as well as companies with sensitive activities (businesses that provide goods to Ukraine, say, or medical equipment to abortion clinics). in America). And before the judgment you had a situation where the registries required all compliant family businesses that had no links to crime or tax evasion to disclose their share structure to anyone in the world, opening loopholes which may be in the family.

The records only affect companies established in the EU member states, where the risk of money laundering through companies is relatively low. While transparency is important, the EU the judgment is an invitation (and a warning) to have a fair discussion in this area. Surviving families have a legitimate interest in keeping their personal data away from prying eyes. This is even more important at a time when Europe is swept by populism and the European Convention on Human Rights is under attack.

Filippo Noseda
Mishcon de Reya

A woman walks past tents where homeless people live in McPherson Square in Washington, DC, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. In this federal park, where it appears homeless people and the general public live together, there are about three dozen tents in the park, with laundry hanging on tree branches, chairs, tables and even two portable bathrooms.  Photo by Rod Lamkey/CNP/ABACAPRESS.COM

Taking people off the streets

I was pleased to read about the improving homelessness situation in Washington, albeit from alarming levels (“The Homeless Decline”, November 26). It is true that the government is the most important stakeholder responding to this issue, but it is less to present the government as the only agency needed to end homelessness, definitely affordable or fast.

Solving homelessness requires government, companies, landlords, startups and communities to come together and play to their strengths. As with any complex problem, solving homelessness requires innovative data-driven technology, which startups can build faster and cheaper than government. Rapid progress to make history of homelessness requires a true alliance of the corporate world, the technology industry and local charities, among others.

Alex Stephany
Founder and CEO

Gives the pink labels

As someone who has watched job cuts and seen the effects of layoffs both good and bad, I recommend Bartleby’s column on the right way to quit (November 26) to all senior executives. I am saying that lay workers should not be treated as criminals. Critical systems and documents need to be protected, but that does not mean that someone is immediately removed from the building as if they were terminated for cause.

It is best to allow the employee a transition period to allow them to hand over work duties and say goodbye to colleagues. The effort to treat the irresponsible worker as they would like to be treated sends a strong message of respect for the “survivors” (for that is certainly what they are). The brutal job loss processes seen in “Up in the Air”, a film from 2009, are a model of what should be avoided, not included.

Dean Pavlakis
Helena, Montana

Begin the redundancy process by adhering to the universal corporate mantra that “our people are our greatest asset”, and recognize that what is needed is not a reduction in headcount, but in pay. Laying off workers when there are so many other options, such as job shares, holidays and part-time work, which many workers would be happy to take, is not only damaging to those employees who are lost, but to the company. A recession is never forever. One day you will be looking to hire them back.

David Roper
Glenkindy, Aberdeenshire

A handout released by the UK Parliament shows British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) and British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt at Sunak's first Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on 26 October, 2022. - In his first full day as British prime minister, Rishi Sunak on Wednesday delayed an emergency budget and rejected renewed calls for an early general election as he began trying to rebuild the Tories & # 39;  voting position.  (Photo by JESSICA TAYLOR / various sources / AFP) / RESTRICTION TO EDITORIAL USE - NO USE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, SATIRICAL, ADVERTISING PURPOSES - CREDIT MANDATORY

A pensioner writes

I’m tired of reading insulting references to “coddled pensioners” who suggest we live on state benefits (“How to fix a budget in 55 days”, November 12). My total state pension this month, after adding up for 40 years, is £608.44 ($742). Does anyone have The Economist live on such an amount? In addition, I did not receive my pension until I was 65, falling into that age group when the time for women’s retirement changed. This was a hardship for many women who had either been married and divorced, or had not worked in early life due to childcare constraints.

I am lucky enough to have a decent workplace pension, which means I would be considered a successful pensioner. I am quite happy to pay tax on my income, as I have done over my entire 42-year working life, but we are only a minority of over-65s in Britain. A large number of us are still working in their 70s. And for those unlucky enough to need full-time care in their later years, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and other old-age ailments are the only conditions that require individuals to leave their homes. sold to pay for their care. This is so that we greatly reduce the “burden” on the family and the state.

I suggest that you examine your own prejudices in this matter, because the zeitgeist allows things to be said and written about old people that would not be said about other groups. . Try the thought experiment of replacing coddled “pension” with the words black, gay, women, or transwomen and transmen.

Ruth Fennell
Rackenford, Devon

UNITED STATES - 2011/04/24: The Cannon River flows through the city of Northfield in Minnesota, USA.  (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

What’s going on in Northfield

Your piece on America’s tight labor market was aptly focused on the city of Northfield (“Hot like Minnesota”, November 26). I have a grandson at Carleton College and have loved Northfield. You showed very well the character and economy of the place, with one omission. Northfield’s highlight of the year is celebrating the Defeat of Jesse James Days every September. The event commemorates the brave behavior of the local people in stopping an attempted robbery of the First National Bank by the outlaw Jesse James, the younger crew and others in 1876. A large part of The annual event is Americana with a parade, carnival, fried food and session reenactment. Luckily there were enough workers to pull it off again this year.

Pat Fleming
washington, DC

Is Glasto ready for Bagehot?

i know The Economist that many illegal drugs would be legalized or at least decriminalized, and for good reason. However, Bagehot’s brutal night in search of “the new man” (November 19) was an interesting read. Shouldn’t we treat binge drinking and other forms of alcohol abuse as we would other drugs, as abuse? If not, I look forward to Bagehot’s future weekend report: LSD– an ego-induced death in Glastonbury and before that a great vegan burrito collection.

Vivian le Vavasseur

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