I remember the front page of the Press Herald telling me years ago that the total financial burden of living in Maine – between low wages and the high cost of living – was the worst in the nation.

One factor in those high costs is people who come to Maine for the amenities (“the way life should be”) and drive up housing costs. That doesn’t include those who buy housing as an investment.

So now we’re banning foam take-out containers and charging a nickel for shopping bags.

Perish the thought that the McDonald’s employee should stop by Lang’s Express for some hot Chinese food to take the edge off a long day.

I suppose the assumption is that if these people had any ambition, they’d have managed to have parents who graduated from Harvard so they’d have a place in the class of ’18 and pull down a good living thereafter.

Meanwhile, three of our teens are missing on the West Bank, and our little democratic nation-building experiment in Iraq – including three killed in action from Maine’s 133d Engineer Battalion – is coming unglued, courtesy of the king of Saudi Arabia.

Don’t worry. I’m sure it will all blow over.

Christopher Rushlau

Portland