Does Soviet Aid Deserve To Be A U.S. Priority?

Aside from the excellent points made by Gary Becker in "The last thing the Soviets need is a foreign-aid package" (Economic Viewpoint, Nov. 4), it becomes increasingly difficult to justify to the American tax-paying public a large foreign-aid package when the U. S. faces very tangible problems of a recession, unemployment, illiteracy, homelessness, continued drug warfare, and a host of other issues. Additionally, the U. S. policy of "buying friends abroad" often backfires. Witness the thanks of countries such as Jordan, which received as much as $55 million in 1989 and later backed Saddam Hussein in the Persian Gulf conflict. It would behoove the makers of our foreign policy to recall that "charity begins at home." J. A. Diederich Columbus, Ohio any American proponents of aid to the Soviet Union wholeheartedly agree that aid will only be effective when it is linked to true market reform. However, without evidence to the contrary, such proponents believe that aid is necessary for there to even be a chance of successful reform and recovery. Thus, the form of assistance is a worthy bone of contention; its existence should not be.

Ruth Judson

Gary Mueller

Cambridge, Mass.

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