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Mr. Hayes's faith in constant striving to achieve reform is touching but not convincing. We do not have a politically savvy electorate, one educated to the responsibilities of citizenship. Most do not understand the Bill of Rights, and most do not have the time nor the inclination to keep informed even about local government. It could be that they would have more interest if there were a number of political parties, not just two, that could express their interests rather than the oligarchs'. Systemically, in the United States, this has not proved possible for very long. Our Constitution does not promote citizen participation.

Repairing our systemic problems reminds me of the contention between an auto mechanic and a cardiac surgeon: Why, asks the mechanic, do you get paid so much more than me? We both fix engines, which are pumps with valves and hoses. The cardiologist replies: True, but can you fix an automobile engine while it is running?

There are no constitutional cardiologists.

Alvin D. Hofer

St. Petersburg, FL

Jan 16 2010 - 10:52am

Web Letter

I'd like to start by paraphrasing W.E. Demming, who once said something like "a system produces what a system produces. If you don't like what the system is producing, then change the system!"

I find it astonishing that we sit here in the twenty-first century listening to an economic debate between Adam Smith and Karl Marx... as if we have no alternatives to the conventional right and left.

In reality there is a twenty-first-century solution that one of your writers (Bill Greider) knows a lot about. It's called binary economics, and the foundation of this twenty-first-century Hegelian synthisis was laid out over fifty years ago by Louis Kelso and Professor Mortimer Adler in a book titled The Capitalist Manifesto.

It offers a viable answer to the $64 trillion questions of the twenty-first century, namely, "How do you systematically democratize the free market and avoid the monopolistic results that history shows are inevitable in an unbridled free market?" Greider can tell you all about this book and the possibilities if offers.

In the meantime, if we continue to avoid addressing the systemic nature of our economic problem, we're doing little more than rebuilding the house of cards and waiting for the next crisis. If we're unwilling to change the system, we're going to get what this system produces, vast inequities in wealth that render a political democracy totally impossible.

BTW, I enjoy Hayes's comments on MSNBC.

Rick Osbourne

Lombard, IL

Jan 15 2010 - 5:08pm

Web Letter

Nothing surprising here from the ultra-liberal Hayes. What interested me most was that he really tried to make it sound like paying the thugs (i.e., the government) was the best choice to achieve a stable society. Typical left-wing logic: make everyone dependent and complacent and everything will be just fine (as long as the oligarchs have it better than everyone else). Not at all "progressive" in my mind. As to his suggestions at the end as to what he'd like to see accomplished in the following year, all of them would undermine freedom and democracy. Freedom of Choice Act? You've got to be kidding! Even McGovern repudiates it. Coercion at it's worst. Legitimize illegal immigrants? A complete slap in the face to those who would immigrate legally and nothing more than a ruse to shore up the Democrat Party. And with regard to Medicare part D, not only do people really like it, it has cost one-third less than was initially projected, primarily because of competitive market pricing. Of what other government program can that be said? Certainly not the other parts of Medicare.

W.K. Ogard

Birmingham, AL

Jan 14 2010 - 5:17pm

Web Letter

The popular desire to regain control sounds very much like the Tea Party movement.

One of the key needs, in order to return control to the people and the democratic process, is to work less at the federal level, and shift responsibility closer to the people at the local and state levels.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Jan 14 2010 - 4:45pm

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