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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

The problem is not deregulation or a lack of regulation. Regulation, we must assume, would not have prevented anyone from doing anything, and we know this if only because nothing that anyone on Wall Street did is illegal; at best, regulation would require that someone who was acting as law enforcement act after some specific thing had occurred. (That, in fact, is what's happening now.)

At worst, regulation would demand that every transaction, down to little Jimmy's trading to little Jeanie a water pistol for a ball, be considered a matter needing to be regulated but definitely and still a matter only of ethics. This is what we have now, in the case of Jimmy and Jeanie, with the children's parents stepping in if one of the children needs them to.

The problem is the identities--or, rather, the lack of them--of those who committed the acts that are causing unpleasant situations to exist in the lives of known or able-to-be-known others.

We don't need more laws if we can be assured of knowing whom to trust (and this would include making judgments about corporations based upon the names of corporations' most infamous employees) and whom not to trust. You know: same way a farmer just doesn't do business with the mill that gypped him.

If no crime has been committed by Wall Streeters, newspapers and magazines wouldn't be doing any harm if they created little features on those who've worked on Wall Street. If Wall Streeters are being abused by a nation of yokels, these little features would be more like the NYT's memoriums to all those who died as a result of 9/11 than they would be like hit pieces.

Cameron Jones

Indiana, PA

Sep 28 2008 - 10:01am

Web Letter

The fundamental American choice is whether to elect a celebrity or a true leader for the next president. Based on the choices we have, we will elect a celebrity for both Obama Barack and John McCain are nothing more than that. The true leaders would have known a decade earlier that this crisis is coming and he or she would have acted long ago to prevent it. Both Barack and McCain have already failed miserably. Obama still has no plan of action while McCain would fix a problem by firing a completely irrelevant individual.

Strangely enough, it’s better to have no plan at all than having a wrong plan. At least a politician without a plan is looking for the good one. Not having a plan is a clear sign of being open to learning, but if you still need to collect the data you aren’t ready to lead.

Both candidates are just a mirror image of the equally incompetent political parties that nominated them. As always, those parties work together as a unified team. While one party is theoretically supportive of big business and other is a proponent of pro-action government and an alleged protector of the middle class and the people, at bailout time the former is rhetorically opposed to hefty handouts while the latter is pushing for a $1 trillion free gift to big business. If that isn’t a perfect example of superior bipartisanship, then what is?

A collapse of business ethics, leadership wisdom, executive integrity and professionalism in our economy was painfully obvious for years. No other nation in the world has been as disrespected and publicly mocked by its leaders as the Americans. Nobody has been training Americans how to analyze the world realistically, everybody was trying to take advantage of us as quick as possible, unobstructed either by our government or by our religious institutions, although all of them had to know how morally wrong those business practices were. No wonder we have ended up in a gigantic crisis like this one. The housing bubble and the financial crisis is just a direct consequence of the American public being intentionally misled by the captains of our economy and our government. The people just reacted in accordance to information provided by our leaders.

By the way, have you ever heard John McCain and Barack Obama objecting to such intentional misleading of Americans? When the nation is betrayed by its leaders, nothing good will happen. Collapse of our social morality and integrity is so immense that nothing positive will happen until we have a third party in control of Washington, DC. This is just a minimum prerequisite to start solving the problems, not a guaranteed solution. As long as our politicians from both parties believe they will stay in power, regardless of their actions nothing will change. Without changes we as a nation will continue to sink deeper and deeper. Are you willing to change something in America, or you are happy as it is?

And remember, the USA is in a good shape only as long as the poor and the middle class are in a good shape. Why? For God’s sake they make 90 percent of population.

The belief that anybody could permanently profit from exporting the American jobs to China has just come to an abrupt end. People without jobs and income can’t buy even the cheapest goods.

In order for people to have jobs there can be no trade deficit. If we want to survive, we have to export as much as we import. This is the kind of knowledge anybody in our government should have gained in elementary school.

Kenan Porobic

Charlotte, NC

Sep 26 2008 - 9:17am

Web Letter

While these are interesting suggestions, the basic problem is disappearing good paying jobs and industries that support the American market. No industries, no jobs, no American market, no need for Wall Street! It is the real market that needs fixing and protecting! The only longterm fix for this problem is tariffs behind which we can rebuild American industries, American jobs and the American market. Wall Street will follow along behind these efforts.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Sep 25 2008 - 6:46pm

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