John Balentine must live a rather unique and self-reliant life, i.e., never requiring any advice, assistance or financial help from local, state or federal governments. As a Trump Republican, he believes those who do rely on governments cannot function without such intervention (“Panics over, get back to work,” May 21).

In his protective “bubble,” he writes: “… thanks to … ‘enhanced unemployment assistance’ provided by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan” … “the unemployed have become rich indeed in this … mad COVID world” … because … “the government encourages healthy, but lazy, people to skip work.”

For those individuals who reside in the real world, governments can offer life-supporting mechanisms when uncontrollable events dictate and influence their lives. During my own working career, I required and utilized state-provided unemployment assistance. During those times, I was “healthy” but unlucky. That unemployment assistance money allowed me to seek other job opportunities without placing my family at risk.

Therefore, given my personal history, I should like to issue you, Mr. Balentine, this challenge: Let us compare our curricula vitae. We are both “healthy.” You apparently never required any help from a government (living in your self-reliant bubble), but I have lived in a real and unpredictable world.

Although I was given assistance from the government, said aid never made me lazy or rich, as you can judge when comparing our careers. Having a safety net (provided by the government) allowed me to undertake certain risks I would normally not have taken. However, you and Trump Republicans seem to equate government support with laziness. Not true. At times, support from the government is needed to provide a safety net for those unfortunate but hardworking Americans, even including some Trump Republicans.

FYI: Gas shortages were created by a Russian troll farm!

John M. Mishler
Harpswell