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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I suspect that Greenspan's reasons for loving capitalism are the same as Ayn Rand's. If you are a non-believing Jew, could not contemplate ever taking Christianity seriously, are troubled by Socialism, what is left? Pure greed, attributed to poor Aristotle, and justified with eighteenth-century rhetoric.

Rand never became Fed chairwoman, so she could stick to her maniacal idea. Greenspan could not, since capitalism, as Schumpeter taught us, leads to collapse; Greenspan had to modify the true faith.

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, GA

Oct 16 2007 - 2:44pm

Web Letter

Naomi, I saw you on C-SPAN Sunday night. The host seemed to be annoyed with you for staying on the subject of Iraq. You hit the nail on the head, and he kept trying to change the subject. Are you sure he's not on the White House pay roll--if he's not he should be. He tried to play down what you were trying to say, and I don't think it's up to him to steer you away from the topic of your book, which is why you appeared on the show in the first place. I'm going to complain to C-SPAN about his attempted manipulation of what you had to say, and give you credit for standing your ground. Everything you said was totally correct. It's blows my mind this could happen in the US. But when you look back, since the Reagan years, that's when this all started, the trickle-down economics, the fireing of the air traffic controllers. Don't you think Reagan sent a signal to the private sector, that they could do the same, and get away with it, if the President can do it, we can?

Mike Melley

St. Petersburg, FL

Oct 8 2007 - 3:00am

Web Letter

Whenever I hear Alan Greenspan and the “bubble” used together I bristle. I think back to the near-utopian internet economy with sustained economic growth, low unemployment ,the creation of a large number of high paying jobs, a burgeoning new technology, wonderful capital formation and zero inflation.The rub was that no one was quite sure which route to profits would provide the expected pay-out to investors. Nevertheless, the technology flourished as the new CEOs inched the evolving technology forward through trial and error. It was interesting to watch and it gave you a good feeling and renewed hope for the future. Magazine, newspaper and Internet articles spoke of a new generation of young executives with bold new ideas for technology, employment, lifestyles, government and charity. You knew that you were watching the emerging corporate leaders.

One morning I noticed that the NASDAQ was nearly surpassing the Dow Jones Industrial average and realized that this milestone might threaten the Old Guard leaders of the military industrial complex (MIC), and have them making demanding intervention on their behalf. It’s about power more than money, and the developing leaders could have replaced the current MIC power holders.

These new IT execs were in a vulnerable position when Alan Greenspan mowed them down. There was no attempt at a soft landing as he raised interest rates nine times and said that he was fighting inflation when there was not a hint of inflation. We watched incredulously at tremendous over-reaction on the part of the Fed Chairman, who described the situation as a bubble that had burst. It angered me when I read in the Wall Street Journal right afterwards that an investment group from Massachusetts invested 11 billion USD in moving Internet technology to India (that is about 43 billion in Indian rupees).

I believe that Alan Greenspan was responsible for the 1990-91 recession because he did not act quickly in expanding the money supply in the run-up to Desert Storm. The ensuing recession caused George Bush Sr. to lose his run for a second term as President. Afterwards in 2000 longtime affiliations with the Bush Family were reaffirmed and Bush Sr. stated that he forgave Alan for the loss. This tells us all that Alan Greenspan was a political ideologue more than an impartial economic leader. Many surmised as I did that the destruction and softening of the Clinton-Gore Internet economy was Greenspan’s payback to the Bush family for George Sr.‘s loss of a second term.

Alan Greenspan should be defined and remembered for his Randian views of unregulated capitalism and his important role as Federal Reserve Bank chairman in remaking the world in the image of the neocons, as he was a key member of their team after entering the political scene during the Ford Administration along with Bush Sr., Cheney, Rumsfeld and Kissinger.

Bill Hague

Hoboken, NJ

Sep 30 2007 - 11:52am

Web Letter

The ice is finally beginning to crack. "It's about the oil, stupid" responds to but doesn't answer the questions.

When faith in an ideology is rewarded, it's easy to accept that the ideology must be right. Because there's no impetus to challenge the rationale, we believe the lies we tell ourselves even when others are not so easily fooled. Sometimes, we don't get the wake-up call until we have the tiger by the tail.

Dale Roose

Tucson, AZ

Sep 30 2007 - 1:06am

Web Letter

"Greed is Good." "Creative Destruction" (vs. evolution). "Trickle Down." Klein is describing the new, spiffy, remodeled, improved, reengineered, reformulated Social Darwinism of the 1890s.

All the factors are there. Immense wealth acculation approved by God and the Natural Order. The wealthy are not only worthy but favored by the almighty.

Greenspan is the rabbi of Gods' work. Enabler to the favored, the chosen, the righteous. Any impediment to the accumulation of wealth is the selfish, the lazy, the bitter, the jealous, Hoi Polloi. Property is pious, Bonds benevolent, and Stocks sacred. Dare to criticize God's work!

Michael McKinlay

Hercules , CA

Sep 27 2007 - 5:03pm