To The Herald-Whig:
Like Linda Reed, I also grew up and survived in an era when there weren't a lot of government regulations. I've also gone to funerals for several friends and classmates and a brother who died in car crashes. If they had a seat belt and used them some of them might still be alive today. I remember riding the bus from college and knew we were close to south St. Louis by the smell from the Monsanto's chemical plant.
When I was young people feared polio, diphtheria, smallpox, TB and a host of other ailments that we don't even think about today.
I grew up on a small farm and did all the crazy things that should have killed or crippled me, but I survived like most everyone else did. We played outside and didn't have all the things that kids have access to now, but I wouldn't trade today for a 100 yesterdays. We have better health care, better working conditions, better schools, better communications and better food choices.
Maybe because of or in spite of government regulations, people can live longer, healthier lives than they did back in the good old days.
I do not feel any less free than I did 50 years ago. Without government help I've known failure and success, good times and bad, and I've been responsible for myself since I was barely 19. The only thing I feel that the government owes me is Social Security and Medicare that I have paid for my entire working life.