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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Chesa Boudin states: "In these discussions, the left was confronting challenges similar to those faced by progressive movements across the region: namely, how to win legitimate authority and how, having succeeded, to confront the legacy of neoliberalism without stifling economic growth or civil liberties."

This is a contradiction--neoliberalism is economic growth.

In this age of plundering all our resources for economic growth, we must stop and realistically look at what the earth can sustain. It is not economic growth but economic stability, equality, quality and sustainability that we need. We cannot put everyone to work forty hours a day doing services and making material goods. The earth cannot support it and we cannot consume it. We need simpler lifestyles, less work, more education, civic involvement and arts, fair distribution of resources, both material and technological. Technology has given us the opportunity for more simple lives of less work and more self-realization. We cannot patch the system--we must invert it with a new set of values.

Russ Gustafson

Redwood City, CA

May 6 2009 - 11:58pm

Web Letter

I am disappointed if Mr. Morales has been co-opted by neoliberal interests. Bolivia's national interests, and its people interest, should be the focus of their government.

I am almost as old as Mr. Montesinos, and share his knowledge of how Latin America has traditionally suffered from economic imperialism practiced by developed countries against the Global South. Traditional economic imperialism allowed a developed country to form a "free trade" relationship with an underdeveloped country, allowing them to sell their finished good cheaply, which stunted local industrial development because they couldn't compete. However, it also allowed foreign ownership and the exploitation of the underdeveloped county's natural resources. The underdeveloped country remained underdeveloped, and its natural resources were used by the developed state to produce more finished goods.

We now have a new twist to economic imperialism. Through "globalized free trade" and open borders, multinationals seek to drive down wages in every country, by outsourcing industries and jobs from developed countries to countries with cheap, but intelligent labor, and in-sourcing cheap foreign labor to further drive down wages for the remaining jobs. The objective is to turn every worker in the world into a wage slave for multinational corporations.

It is ironic that when they drove down wages in developed countries, they also attacked the disposable income that supported the markets in the developed world. No jobs, no disposable income, and no market for even the cheapest goods. Buying cars and expensive electronics cars are beyond the reach of wage slaves. They have no disposable income!

As with war, revolutions are a last resort, but sometimes they are necessary!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Apr 30 2009 - 12:11pm