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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

H.L. Mencken, in his epic introduction to Nietzsche's The Antichrist, made hilarious reference to certain institutions "founded by the great practical jokers of the race." He was referring to Christianity at the time, but could much better have been describing the Fed, whose practical jokers have been jerking us from pillar to post ever since they got their hooks into the economy.

Obama would do much better to read some Jefferson, and start by appointing some genuine conservatives to his cabinet (a real conservative tries not to be liberal with other people's money, and vowing to balance the budget is a good start). Imagine this: under Jefferson, every bill in excess of $20 had to be hand-signed. Can anyone argue with the fact that deficits in the trillions could never occurred during such a true conservative government?

Jefferson wrote: "The evils of this deluge of paper money are not to be removed until our citizens are generally and radically instructed in their cause and consequences, and silence by their authority the interested clamors and sophistry of speculating, shaving, and banking institutions. Till then, we must be content to return quo ad hoc to the savage state, to recur to barter in the exchange of our property for want of a stable common measure of value, that now in use being less fixed than the beads and wampum of the Indian, and to deliver up our citizens, their property and their labor."

Robert Tartell

Houston, TX

Nov 5 2008 - 6:53am

Web Letter

I know a couple of things! The working middle class represents 70 percent of the American market. Without their good wages and disposable income, there is no American market. When you outsource their jobs and the industries that supply them, you also outsource the American market . There will be no economic recovery without their well-paying jobs and disposable income. If Obama or McCain continues with "free trade" policies, we are looking at a long depression, and whoever is elected president will serve one term! According to today's papers, Congress is looking at rebuilding the nation's infrastructure as a stimulus to the economy. It would certainly be better than a one-time payment to the taxpayer. However, it would be a limited fix, and continued funding would need to be supported by a vibrant economy. Certainly, we need to return to New Deal regulation of the market, but infrastructure repair and market regulation would not be a permanent fix for the economy. We need tariffs to make it more expensive for industries to import their goods into this country and cheaper for them to manufacture their products within the United States. Native industries will either return to the United States or be eventually replaced by new ones who will produce these same type of products. This is nothing new! It is how we became a major industrial nation! We have done it before, and we can do it again!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Oct 23 2008 - 3:56pm

Web Letter

What is the basis for Mr. Scheer's claims and final hope? What evidence does he have that Senator Obama heeds the advice of Volcker and Buffett more than that of Rubin and Summers? It couldn't be Senator Obama's voting record, surely. There's empirical evidence that demonstrably proves the contrary. It's Rubin and his fellow crooks from Citigroup that reminded Mr. Obama (gently, I'm sure)that his Wall Street investors expected a little sugar in return for the record donations they poured into his coffers. Seven hundred billion dollars is a mighty sweet lollipop. It couldn't be Senator Obama's (and Biden's) votes that make it harder for Joe the Plumber (even if he proves ungrateful) to declare bankruptcy and thus escape the predatory clutches of a Rubin or a Summers.

It is articles like these that make The Nation all but unreadable these days. If it was only delusion, maybe I would still have a subscription to the magazine. After all, delusional thinking can be overcome by a rigorous adherence to evidence and the inferred conclusions that come from it. However, when these unfounded hopes based on evidence that isn't there are coupled with a high-minded righteousness about their choice of a "savior," I lose all respect for the authors and the desire to read their pitiful scribblings. Blind faith is not bound by reality. Then again, maybe I just haven't seen the light.

Bill Novak

Chester, MT

Oct 22 2008 - 11:16pm

Web Letter

Let remind everyone that Volcker, Rubin, and Buffett are"so called" screaming free-traders. I watched Buffett returning from China after a multibillion-dollar deal for cheap labor there giving Becky Quick an interview and planning to go to Vietnam next for cheap labor. Don't take your eyes off these characters. We have Clinton and Rubin partly to blame for the fact that we have deindustrialized the country. No matter how nice the personality, greed and gluttony are not self-regulating. It is virtually impossible to see the working poor wading in sewage in Louisiana from a private jet at 40,000 feet.

JAMES PINETTE

Caribou, ME

Oct 22 2008 - 10:38am