Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

What tariffs? If there were tariffs, jobs and industries would not be going overseas. I live near railroad tracks that take carload after carload of products from China going east, which used to be manufactured in the United States. Because there is no protectionism, the American market is disappearing. No jobs, no industries and less agriculture means no disposable income to buy even the cheapest goods. But we still have inflation, and prices are going through the roof. Greed and stupidity rules. These idiots are pricing themselves out of what is left of their market. Low interest rates mean no savings, and no savings means you must speculate in order to put your money to work. Bubble economics is the the result. No savings also means no capital for business development. We are in the process of worldwide economic collapse because of "free trade " and "laissez-faire capitalism." Saving these various banks is not a plan, they are basically putting their finger in the dike to hold back the coming depression.

Pervis Casey

Riverside, CA

Sep 13 2008 - 4:29pm

Web Letter

"Under state capitalism, the economy is manipulated to meet government-set goals." Great way to naturalize capitalism, as if "the economy" was by definition capitalist. No. Under state capitalism, the interests of private property are manipulated by and ultimately for the State. A couple versions of this are fascist National Socialism and communist "socialism in one country." Aren't we forgetting another version, though: none other than the New Deal?

The New Deal was in many ways this lender take-over applied as general economic policy. It bought its way into the hearts of Americans by offering inroads to improved working conditions and other workers' rights, not to mention the satisfaction of conspicuous consumerism and the so-called "middle-class lifestyle." These are, from the perspective of capitalism, small prices to pay for being bailed out of the fucking Great Depression. All this talk about the middle class disappearing is simply capitalism taking back what it never really gave America.

The New Deal, coupled with the world war it took to help pull us out of the Depression, is the largest example ever of a pyrrhonic victory. We are on the verge of perhaps another Great Depression, with ecological meltdown and nuclear holocaust as real possibilities on the side. The world and all the living things in it cannot continue to function within the logic of capital. There is no New Deal 2.0. We need to use the State to take responsibility for changing our way of life, not continually making excuses for and propping it up.

Joe Clement

Portland, OR

Sep 12 2008 - 5:03pm

Web Letter

Von Hoffman: "With no debate or commitment to principle, an enormous segment of the US economy has been turned over to the government." The way I see it, an *irreplaceable* segment of the US population has been taken by that same government and invested in a pointless and bipartisan war. Five thousand people who were living parts of that segment are lost to us forever.

No threat to which von Hoffman can alert us by way of this article can be worse than what we've already experienced. We continue to suffer losses for one reason only: members of the US media are oblivious to the fact that there can be a difference between their asses and a hole in the ground.

Cameron Jones

Indiana, PA

Sep 10 2008 - 6:57am

Web Letter

The author worries about our free-market system. There has been no such thing in the US in my lifetime. The super-wealthy and their corporations have always demanded that government get out of their way when they are making profits, and they are the same ones who demand taxpayer bailouts when they mismanage themselves into bad times. I say if the people have to pay for Fannie and Freddie when times are bad, then the people should also reap the profits when times are good.

Robert Glaze

Ponchatoula, LA

Sep 9 2008 - 10:09am

Web Letter

The principle to which this GOP government is committed is now clear: Socialize losses, privatize profits. There's little debate from most Dems on this, as corporatism, along with its attendant police state apparatus, is now widely accepted by both parties.

This is a formula for further disasters, with the current F/F bailout likely to cost the taxpayers a minimum of $220 billion to an estimated max of $1 trillion... about the total cost of the Iraq invasion and military occupation for five years, including debt service and veterans' long-term medical costs.

R.H. Weber

Brooklyn, NY

Sep 8 2008 - 11:37pm

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