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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Where's the real public benefit of government ownership of capital-management enterprises? Isn't the big-picture question how to capture a significant amount of capital-based profits--as what one might call "social credit"?

The decades-long shift in wealth accumulation from labor to capital is on the order of trillions. Trillions are needed for constructive federal investment in physical and social infrastructure.

Lets Put the Wealth to Work.

Robert Beal

Eugene, OR

Oct 9 2008 - 1:59am

Web Letter

As usual, Mr. Greider has written a cogent and plain-language analysis of what pains us so greatly about this package and circumstance, and the fact we are being held ransom to the failed policies of this administration and the three dacde experiment of Reaganism. Yet, through it all, he shows how we can still salvage this and turn it from a bailout to a real rescue package.

We have never faced a time where progressive government is more imperative to our future. We face a stark challenge- we can either shift even more money upward through the bailout to the same criminals and scoundrels who caused this collapse, or we can use this package as a framework for progressive resurgence. In this effort, government can be a force for good and help lift working class families back up by giving a helping hand instead of a shove backwards.

Investing in homes and mortgage relief can not only keep families in their homes, it can then help relieve the collapse of the housing market. We need local and community investment and lending, too, not just a few huge nationalized monopolies. This helps our communities and Main streets, as well as our Elm streets and Martin Luther King ways, too. It also protects what is for many of us our biggest nest egg for retirement--our homes--especially after the hits our retirement funds have taken.

As an additional benefit, this plan Greider outlines will put more value into the assets we are buying as taxpayers, so we may actually get something of value back. This leaves open the capacity for further public reinvestment in America.

An Obama administration will be committed to making that happen, although it will also be up to all of us to hold his feet to the fire. Giving him a strong Senate is also an essential driver to make this happen.

Mr. Greider gave us a recipe to try and make lemonade out of the rankest lemons we have ever been handed. If we blow this opportunity, we may never get another chance, as it could truly lead to the downfall of our republic. The stakes could not be higher.

Thank you for your cogent and clear remonstrance to us in the plainest possible language. We better put it to work.

Larry Shannon

Seattle, WA

Oct 5 2008 - 4:55pm

Web Letter

All the points in this article are well articulated and cogent, with one obvious omission. We are focusing on the flow of capital, while we have shipped our industries and production labor out of country--the sweat equity of our ancestors to China, Japan, Korea, Europe, India, etc.. Now all we produce is military hardware and we are shipping that out as well. For example,. Connecticut use to be the bearing capital of the world; now all that Connecticut produces is submarines. We, in fact, need to rebuild from the bottom up.

The big secret seems to be to invest like Charlie Icahn. Like Naomi Klein says: create a crisis and take advantage of the panic to steal the bank. The corruption and greed have become so widespread that few in government or in business seem to be able to stop the hemorrhage. We have a few brave souls who are demonized by the media like: Kucinich, Kaptur and Sanders, but they seem voiceless and invisible to the media and journalists.

JAMES PINETTE

Caribou, ME.

Oct 5 2008 - 1:27pm

Web Letter

There are many excellent suggestions in this article, But, at some point during the next administration, we need to decentralize banking. Commercial banks need to be separated from investment banks, because they support the real econ0my. Interest rates must rise in those banks to make savings attractive, so they can provide loans for small businesses and homes. One reason for this boom-and-bust speculative economy was that savings accounts did not grow, and barely kept up with inflation. Speculation by ordinary people was encouraged to keep their savings from disappearing. When you concentrate economic power in a few hands, massive failure is a risk through mistakes or malfeasance. When these few financial organization fail the real economy fails. While competition is an element, the main reason for decentralization is to spread the risk around, so if one or more banks fail, other banks can take take their place.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Oct 3 2008 - 1:38pm