To the Editor:
In the “The Elites’ Misguided G.D.P. Fetish” (Op-Ed, Aug. 28), Oren Cass criticizes a recent speech I gave about economic freedom and prosperity, implying that I value “material living standards” over “quality of life” benchmarks like “relationships, dignity, agency or life satisfaction.” Worse, he seemingly believes that the former comes at the expense of the latter.
Economic freedom enables a growing economy, like the one we enjoyed before the coronavirus, which elevates both material living standards and quality of life. As incomes rise, so, too, does the quality of our environment and health care, access to education, and opportunities for leisure. These improvements in the human condition do not cause the social pathologies we see in many parts of our country.
Mr. Cass has fallen for the illusion that if only the government were run by more clever people, resources and wealth would be better and more justly allocated than when free people engage in voluntary exchanges. This supposedly wiser allocation could then somehow rid us of the social pathologies Mr. Cass understandably laments.
Much happiness does comes from hard-to-quantify activities like building close relationships, strengthening one’s faith, earned success in a vocation and contributing to one’s community. Mr. Cass’s mistake is in thinking that economic freedom impedes these aspirations and that more government intervention in the economy will foster them.
The writer, a Republican, is a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.
Trump’s Attack on Mail-In Voting
To the Editor:
Re “Trump’s Campaign of Chaos” (column, Aug. 24):
Charles M. Blow asks if Donald Trump will accept election results. The answer is absolute: only if he wins. And he will do anything to win. It is no longer a question of whether Donald Trump will sabotage this election. He already has. He has poisoned mail-in voting. Its veracity is already questioned. He has convinced his base that mail-in voting is a fraudulent scam. It is the ultimate long con.
Standing up to Mr. Trump’s attacks is our moral obligation. In-person early voting is the answer. It is allowed in about three dozen states, with timetables ranging up to 46 days before Election Day. It is virtually the same thing as voting at the polls; for information, call your local board of elections.
We need voting alternatives that cannot be destroyed by the president. In-person early voting is the solution. It must be available in all states.
Former President Barack Obama challenged us to get involved, to make a plan. This is my plan: to begin a national discussion to promote early in-person voting in every state. It is that important. Our democracy is at stake.