To the Editor:

There are two fundamentally different ways to address problems. One is to attack them cooperatively. The other is to go at them alone.

Our leader doesn't believe in cooperation. He has withdrawn from the Paris Accord to address global warming and from the cooperative and successful action to stop Iran's nuclear arms development. He withdrew our signature from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He threatens to leave NAFTA. He has unilaterally started a trade war. None of these actions leads to a safer, more prosperous world.

This attitude is also reflected in what we do here at home. We can rely on police and the rule of law to keep us safe, or we can hope to be successful in shooting it out with criminals. We can assume that as individuals, hard work will be enough to provide us with a good living or we can limit the power of those who can influence the government to take for themselves the lion's share of what we produce. The go-it-alone approach has resulted in tens of thousands of shooting deaths each year and in most people struggling just to maintain the standard of living that they enjoyed ten or twenty years ago.

In this country, we have a tradition of relying on individual enterprise, which influences how many people vote, often in ways that run counter to their own interests. People in other countries, such as in Scandinavia, are demonstrating how cooperative action can contribute to longer, happier lives, with easier access to such benefits as health care and higher education, and fewer living in poverty. Studies also show that young people in Europe have more opportunity to exceed their parents' economic situations than do ours.

Isn't it about time that we abandoned the go-it-alone approach of the pioneers and embraced the idea of cooperation, which produces better results for people in today's complex world?

Milt Lauenstein