Rushwell Kidder of the International Institute for Global Ethics in Camden tells us that people and cultures throughout the world share five important values: Honesty, responsibility, respect, fairness and compassion.

These are common values that we learn from each other, especially from parents, no matter what our religion happens to be. Our elected representatives should always consider them when deciding an issue, because these values are important to most of the people who vote.

All legislation should support these common values. No special interest group should get special favors that are not fair, simply because they spend money to get people elected to public office. Campaign finance laws should prohibit groups from such spending, especially if dishonest statements are made. All legislation should be fair to all concerned.

Elected officials at both national and state levels make budget decisions and pass laws that affect all of us. I hope that they will keep the values of honesty, responsibility, respect, fairness and compassion foremost in their minds, not just do the quick and easy thing.

Many people in the United States need a job, but can’t find one. We must restrict imports so that we can have more manufacturing jobs in the United States.

If we want to help improve the standard of living of others around the world — a fair and compassionate thing to do — the wealthy must contribute their fair share. The burden should not be carried mostly by people who want to work but cannot find a job that pays a fair wage. In Maine, we should not be trying to solve financial mistakes of the past on the backs of middle-class workers while giving tax breaks to the wealthy. Let’s be fair and responsible.

Elery Keene


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