Dear Editor:

I had a discussion with someone I respect about the condition of our nation. He told me that there are three essential things needed to make a nation great - mining, manufacturing, and farming.

Since I came from the coal regions, I saw the decline in mining operations. A result not only from burdensome regulations, but also from exploitation and corruption at various levels.

I also saw the closing of a vibrant industry of clothing manufacturing. They made a quality product, but foreign imports could be made cheaper. And so it wnet with other products made here versus those made in third world nations.

In Bethlehem, I saw the Bethlehem Steel Corp. crippled by excessive regulations and taxes. They also had the problem of imports and corruption.

Now, we see farmers, from the "Bread Basket" area of California, being devastated because the water needed for irrigation was cut to save a two inch smelt. Instead of finding another solution for the fish, the farms are a wasteland and the farm workers are lining up for charity food packages. Those of us who depend on their abundant harvest now face higher prices and shortages.

I know there are many Americans looking for honest work rather than government handouts. Let your legislators know this...Tell them to stop crippling our ability to mine, manufacture and farm.

Sincerely,

Kay Ann Mulligam,

Bethlehem