In your cover story “Sex & Marriage” (Aug. 9), a Calgary counsellor says sex is a “barometer, and it’s usually the last thing to go. If couples get to the point where there is no sexuality anymore, the relationship is pretty much dead.” Perhaps Calgary couples have sex drives that persist through marital difficulties, but it is a different matter on the West Coast. As a psychologist, I have coun| selled hundreds of couples over the past I 22 years. It has been my experience that f sex is usually the first thing to go, not the last. When a couple spends little time together talking and listening, having fian or simply hanging out, the sex will shut down. There is still lots of life in the marriage in spite of the repair work required to revitalize the relationship. Many couples are discouraged enough without hearing that they are finished just because the marriage has gone sexually flat.
Denis Boyd, Coquitlam, B.C.
You may not realize how cool it was to feature a gay couple among the pairs profiled in your “Sex & Marriage” cover story. Even better, the two men received no special treatment; they were integrated matter-of-factly into the piece. As a reader, I value that kind of fairness. I also appreciate your intelligent effort to reach out to all readers.
Michael Kaminer, New York City
Many single mothers are working and caring for their families in the absence of sex. The exhausting demands of single-parenting leave little time for nurturing a new relationship. When coupled with the safety of the children, single mothers have too many priorities to fulfil before sex can even be considered, and this spans years. When will a voice for single mothers be heard? We have the same needs as everyone else. Natasha Koziol, London, Ont.
I can’t believe you did a cover story on sex and marriage without mentioning the Internet. Where do you people live, Pleasantville? Thousands of Canadian married people are meeting, either electronically or in person, planning their next rendezvous, as their unsuspecting spouses read the paper, watch TV or work on their “urgent” project.
Raymond M. Hébert, Winnipeg
Breaking new ground
You are to be congratulated for perhaps the fairest coverage of the Canadian wine industry in a long time in a mainstream publication (“From plonk to praise,” Business, Aug. 9). I’m not involved in the industry except as a consumer, but I have
The past is prologue
Maclean’s is the one magazine I continue to read from cover to cover. Your exceptional writers expand on the headline stories—which most of us hurriedly read in newspapers—to the point that we now feel connected to the issues that matter. Then there’s the pure delight in reading articles such as “An overdose of nostalgia” (Column, Aug. 2), in which Bob Levin muses that “the past is safer—the worst has already happened.” When I cross-referenced this piece with the article “Look who’s paranoid now” (Books, Aug. 2), I concluded that we really don’t understand what happened in the past. As someone once said, if you live long enough you will learn that everything you had ever known was a lie. But then, it’s the perception that drives the world, every bit as much as reality.
George Wasylyk, Mississauga, Ont.
some firsthand experience in the emergence of the Canadian wine scene onto the international stage. As a young reporter, I covered the battle by Don Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser (Inniskillen Wines) with the Ontario government to obtain the first new winery licence in Ontario in about 50 years, breaking the ground for the explosion we are now experiencing. I have watched old standbys evolve or disappear, and new giants like Paul M. Bose at Château des Charmes appear on the scene. His “casde” near St. Davids is an inspiring example of entrepreneurship. Driving down Highway 8 through Niagara on the Wine Route could take weeks if you stopped at all the new wineries. Their products are superior to most imports.
Tim Fletcher, Grimsby, Ont.
Finally, someone has touched on the most valid reason for pursuing personal tax cuts in this country: simply because the average Canadian deserves it. As you point out in “Singing the tax-cut refrain” (Cover, Aug. 2), there has been no increase in disposable income in the ’90s. Canadians are working longer and more efficiently for less. Where
Letters to the Editor
should be addressed to:
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have the benefits of this harder, smarter work gone? So far, they have gone to corporate profits and taxes. Personal tax cuts could serve as a reward for average Canadians and a vote of confidence from our government.
Jim Gibson, Mississauga, Ont.
Successive Canadian governments’ destruction of the Canadian economy and the imposition of unbelievably high taxes were not noticed only by Maclean’s writers, business lobbyist Thomas d’Aquino and Nortel CEO John Roth. It was observed by hard-rock miners and other citizens. Behind the protection of high tariffs, a hundred years ago, Canada built an enormous industry. Since the Second World War, governments allowed inflation to go wild. At the same time, we kept our tariffs so low we allowed sweatshop imports to be dumped in Canada, which put our own industries out of business. The thing that has kept Canada going is the export of our vast resources, such as wheat, lumber, minerals and the high technology of a few brains who have stayed home and are helping to pay our ridiculously high taxes.
Frank Southern, Sudbury, Ont.
Spreading the word
John Kenneth Galbraith writes that his father, while speaking to farmers in an election campaign, climbed onto a manure pile and “apologized profusely for speaking from the Tory platform” (“Galbraith writ large,” Books, Aug. 2). I heard that he apologized while speaking from a manure spreader, at which point aTory in the audience yelled: “Fire it up! It’s never had a better load.”
Jean McKenzie, London, Ont.
May I be the skunky dissenter to your three-page Galbraith picnic? What you ignore are the colossal bonehead mistakes about socialism, communism and the Soviet Union he made over the years. In a 1984 New Yorker article, Galbraith wrote that the Soviet economy was making “great material progress.” His evi-
dence: “One sees it in the appearance of solid well-being of the people on the streets, the close to murderous traffic, the incredible exfoliation of apartment houses.” The secret of such achievements: “Partly, the Russian system succeeds because, in contrast with the Western industrial economies, it makes full use of its manpower.” It is amazing that Galbraith could have written such schlock—in 1984!—when any intelligent economist knew the day of reckoning for the Soviet economy was at hand. Arnold Beichman, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
Truth and taxes
When I moved from Canada to the United States nearly two years ago, my parents bought my husband and me a subscription to Macleans magazine. We were originally grateful for this gift, but can no longer stomach its unremittingly depressing rhetoric about our beloved homeland, which consistently presents the voice of greed as if it were the voice of truth. I am particularly weary of the myth that the “real” reason for the brain drain is lower U.S. taxes (“Professors spouting nonsense,” Diane Francis, Aug. 2). There are many reasons why scholars, like me, leave Canada, but the simple reason that I moved—and then very reluctantly—to the United States was because I was offered a good position in a respectable university. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find a comparable position in Canada. It is true that my basic U.S. personal income tax is a little lower than my Canadian income tax used to be, but when all contributions are counted the difference is minimal. Furthermore, when I add expenses for health-care premiums, co-payments for health-care services, and insurance against catastrophic illness not covered by most health-care plans, the difference is more than made up. I suspect that many of the upper-middle-class Canadians who move here for lower taxes will be disappointed to find out that, one way or another, you pay.
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