Regarding “GOP chose party over kids’ health,” (Bruce Lowry column, Page 2O, Oct. 15).

Bruce Lowry spends most of the article decrying the Republican Party’s decision to allow the CHIP program to expire on Oct. 1, because he considers it a “godsend for struggling and working-class families, in Northern New Jersey and beyond.” There is no doubt CHIP has “helped” families deal with challenging times since the Great Recession, but Lowry ignores why the U.S. economy has experienced the weakest recovery since the Great Depression. In addition, he conflates “compassion” with federal and state government programs.

First, the U.S. economy is being “managed” by the Federal Reserve, which manipulates interest rates to “stimulate” the economy. This policy has been a colossal failure. The primary beneficiaries of the Fed’s easy-money policy have been the 1-percenters, who have seen their asset values soar at the expense of low- and middle-income families, who have received virtually no return on their savings accounts and other low-risk assets. Wages have been stagnant for workers in many sectors of the economy because the U.S. is undergoing a structural shift – to more high-tech industries from less “traditional” relatively low-skilled jobs.

Second, the American people used to be self-reliant and/or dependent on their families and local mutual aid societies to help them through illnesses, unemployment and other challenges. Since the Great Depression (1930s) and the Great Society (1960s) programs of the 20th century, the welfare state has made more and more Americans dependent on the coercive powers of government to assist them instead of relying exclusively on real compassion – that of family members, neighbors and voluntary associations.

Murray Sabrin 

Fort Lee

The writer is a professor of finance at Ramapo College.