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Web Letter

It is still exceedingly strange to me that we are still hearing the stupid mantra of "protectionism" applied to any talk of intelligent regulations and decent industrial jobs "value adding jobs making things." When did making beds at Motel 6 or being a greeter at Wal-Mart replace jobs at GM, Ford, Chrysler, Caterpillar? When did we get so stupid as to accept the great "voodoo"-economic lie, the great information tech lie, the great service industry lie? Service industry doesn't produce anything except support for industry, nor does the information revolution except hot air and shallow meaningless bites of one and zero. We are decades away from recovering from the damage deindustrializing, permitted by politicians of both political, parties has done to our country. We have permitted corporate pickpockets to trade away generations of sweat equity to other countries by creating wealth for themselves, hiring Chinese at subhuman wages. It costs 90 cents to produce a sneaker that we sell here for $90. John Edwards was right, bless his horny little soul, this will be an epic battle, and I'm afraid we have already lost.


Caribou, ME

Dec 30 2008 - 12:21pm

Web Letter

You must be kidding me. This article blames countries that work too hard and save too much for the financial tsunami we are having? Where has Schwenninger been doing his research? China as the Bogeyman? Come on!

Maybe he missed the fact that this crisis was created by the American culture of greed that allowed borrowers to lie their way to large mortgage loans to speculate on houses that they could never afford, the commercial bankers that assisted in these frauds in search of fees, the investment bankers that collateralized these loans into speculative instruments that they claimed were safe, and then went on to sell to pocket huge fees and bonuses, the ratings agencies that rated things that they had no understanding of, the regulators who decided that their prime objectives are to get rid of regulation, and the US federal government--which did a massive job of setting an example for the people it leads to "spend well above your means" in hopes that by the time reckoning comes, it will be the next administration (or generation) that will have to pay for it!

Hopefully, this article was written as pure sarcasm, and means the opposite of what it says!

William Yung

Edmonton, Alberta

Dec 30 2008 - 12:10pm

Web Letter

Karl Marx accused religion of being an "opiate of the people." Certainly, that can be an aspect of religion. However, reflecting human needs for certainty and order, any closely held belief is inclined to be an "opiate," and this quality is not unknown in political. economic, or historical theories. Certainly, these theories may have their uses, but application often fails when faced by the variety of human needs and experience. Seeking to retain certainty, the secular belief system can take on an "opiate"' quality, and sometimes the characteristics of a secular religion.

But there is no such thing as universal uniformity of belief, and anyone who thinks they can construct a worldwide system like globalization is delusional. It is like herding cats. National economies have been successful. In deed, how the US developed its industries and market used to be the model for other countries.Until recent years, we never believed in "free trade." We were a planned society based on Alexander Hamilton's "Report on Manufactures." It was his tariffs that protected infant industries from being dumped on and destroyed as they are now. He opposed " free trade"!

By the way, the "beggar-thy-neighbors strategy" is called economic imperialism. It is where a developed nation seeks a "free trade" relationships with an underdeveloped counties and floods them with cheaper goods that preventing them from developing their own industrial base. You do not directly control the country, but you do control their economy. The developed Western countries used to do it, but they have been replaced by China because of their cheap labor. Western business interests are orchestrating the outsourcing of industries, along with jobs, overseas, but since well-paying jobs provide the disposable income to support the American market, they are destroying that market for even cheap imported goods. China better start developing their own market because this one is disappearing.

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Dec 24 2008 - 4:02pm

Web Letter

Any policy option based on persuading the Chinese government to include a higher degree of domestic unrest is so unlikely as to be in Fantasyland. Obama reeally has little but domestic tools to work with on this one.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Dec 24 2008 - 2:01am