Did other Post readers see a lesson in the back-to-back Sept. 4 news articles “In risk-averse France, entrepreneurs run into roadblocks” and “Young, with no future in sight”? When the government’s mission becomes protection rather than opportunity, citizens are robbed of the ability to affect their own futures.

Over time, as the first article suggested, a nation settles for inertia instead of industry as a consequence of high taxes and regulatory compliance costs that stifle opportunity and individual initiative.

Then, as the second article pointed out, when protection policies become unaffordable, and austerity measures become necessary, complacency turns to outrage. The challenge for Europe and the United States is to create economic environments that reward initiative and ultimately replace discontent with empowerment and personal pride in having “built it.”

Kristine Iverson, Falls Church

The writer is a member of the Fairfax County Republican Committee.

Nice juxtaposition.

Record 50 million in U.S. face hunger,” Page A26, Sept. 7. Immediately above, the last “In the Loop” item: Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) plans a fund-raising luncheon “at Fogo de Chao, the downtown Brazilian steakhouse that’s home to an all-you-can-eat protein orgy. ‘This is a FUN time,’ promises an invite,” Al Kamen reports.

Harvey Kabaker, Silver Spring