Horns of a dilemma
In President Engh’s inauguration address, he issued a call for the University to “become a major center for discussions of environmental justice.” In 1979 Albert Rose, a noted physicist, estimated that each human requires about one acre to supply its food and energy needs. Regardless the accuracy of Rose’s estimates, there is an absolute limit to the population that the earth can sustain. That number could be but a few generations away. It is impossible to prevent the consequent disaster without population control. These facts and the position of the Catholic Church on birth control put us on the horns of a dilemma, as Fr. Fagothey taught in my senior ethics class. Santa Clara is a perfect place for these discussions with its strengths in theology, philosophy, and technology.
JOHN B. MOONEY ’50
Those darned sins
I found Professor Field’s article in AfterWords (“Sins of omission and commission,” Summer 2009 SCM) extremely interesting. However, I did not see any reference to the Garn–St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982, which contributed to the savings and loan meltdown of the late 1980s. Deregulation of financial institutions was government policy. When interviewed on television regarding the current recession, Alan Greenspan was asked, “How can we avoid this in the future?” He replied, “Change human nature.” Buyers, sellers, brokers, mortgage brokers, and financial institutions all contributed to our present malaise.
JIM MAYO MBA ’96
I’ll confess that the present economic mess has been so confusing as to its causes that I’ve avoided reading analyses and columns in newspapers about it. But the AfterWords page in the Summer issue really made me feel that I now have some understanding of why we’re in the situation we’re in. Kudos to Professor Alex Field of SCU’s Department of Economics.
Professor of Mathematics, SCU
Smartest guys in the bank
Professor Mario Belotti’s course in macroeconomics was a great basis for understanding the current mess the world is in. I was taking the course during the first OPEC cut off of oil to the States, so the economy was experiencing major disruptions, including gasoline price increases that we’d never seen before. Forecasting forced me to think about how occurrences in one year impact the next year’s results. A few years ago, when I started seeing ads touting loans with escalating interest rates and balloon payments, I thought to myself, “The banks know they are going to have a high rate of foreclosures on those loans; they must want to own a lot of real estate.” Now the banks that held the loans have the properties on their hands, but we learn that they had no plans for what to do with them!
JOAN CARTER MBA ’77
By the way
I didn’t graduate from Santa Clara—it would have been 1964—but Santa Clara provided most of my college education. And I enjoy the alumni magazine. I get three of them and yours is the best.
JAMES L. BOTSFORD
Las Cruces, N.M.
Thank you for publishing the chapter from Francisco Jiménez’s Reaching Out in your Fall 2008 issue. It led me to purchase his autobiographical trilogy—The Circuit, Breaking Through, and Reaching Out—and they became a wonderful addition to my 40th Class Reunion. Having been one of those underclassmen in Dunne Hall on Frank’s floor that he mentions in his less than loved role as resident assistant, I had no idea of his challenges and struggles. At the time he appeared the confident senior who had everything under control. Reaching Out captures the University of the 1960s so well: from the registration experience in Siefert Gym to the lighting on a fall day in Montgomery Hall, to the basement classroom in O’Connor and the many priests and professors who are so clearly remembered, including Frs. Bannan, Macklin, Wright, and Dr. Vari. His story as an immigrant touched me as well. I’ve worked as a teacher and administrator in a predominantly immigrant community for most of my career, often with children and families with similar stories to Frank’s. He gave me a depth of understanding of that life that I did not previously have. I wished I had had Frank’s stories 30 years ago. For those of us involved around the country in JustFaith groups on Catholic social teachings, Frank’s stories provide an experience that can broaden our sense of others’ realities and open our hearts.
HUGH MENTON ’68