Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I was in France during the summer of 1968 when the country was going through the turmoil of relocating large segments of the population from one-acre farms to city populations and industrial production like Citroën and Peugeot. Here is the big sixties question that we all seem to be forgetting: Can the globe continue to sustain population growth at the present level? Forget all the hocus-pocus, mumbo-jumbo of markets and commodities. We are now getting closer to regulating air, taxing carbon, water and wind. We are a nation of fools.While Al Gore goes around preaching global-warming fears, making millions off of so-called "green energy" schemes, the government is taxing the bejesus out of the poor with fuel taxes. While we are screaming "green jobs that can't be exported," the majority of solar panels are produced in China and we are exporting as much coal as we can mine. China is opening one coal-fired plant a week. Why don't we ground all unnecessary flights to China and limit the military's use of fuel? Is global warming the greatest hoax ever pushed out into the public conscience in an effort to turn us all into Stepford wives?

James L Pinette

Caribou, ME

May 20 2009 - 6:41am

Web Letter

The editors say: "In developing countries huge agribusinesses, fat with government subsidies, sell their unsustainable (and sometimes genetically modified) products at a reduced rate, thus making it impossible for local farmers to compete." Even without subsidies (a New Deal item that ought to be eliminated), the problem comes down to one of efficiency. Traditional family plots are not able to compete in cost and volume of production.

Easily pointed out, the problem is in helping inefficient producers to transition to a modern mechanized economy, and promote entrepreneurs to use the surplus labor. In the US at the time of the Civil War, 75 percent of all workers were in agricultural production, now down to a mere 1/4 percent. That is progress, and the elimination of mind-bending drudgery

The poor people of the world deserve the chance to do likewise.

Labor, a group of skill bases looking to be hired, is also within the definition of a commodity, as are foods.

Anything that can be bought and sold is a commodity, and if you don't understand that, your economic model is totally hopeless. If something can be bought, sold or rented, it is a commodity.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

May 16 2009 - 9:53pm