Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

When the workers in the beehive get angry they drop what they're doing and attack the source. When every angry bee is attacking one source the unity of their effort protects the hive from the ravages of chaos. That's why the hives survive and the bee casualties are minor.

I remember the '60s when there was no unity of effort against a common source. For whatever the cause, it split families, communities and the nation; there was no common enemy, the enemy was us. We fought against ourselves as individuals striving to survive for no common purpose. It was a trying time for us. I don't ever want to see it again. I am afraid that the workers in America today are getting angry. That scares me.

Ever-increasing numbers of workers are out of work. They're losing their homes, dreams, hopes, purposes. It's the meaning of their lives that is at stake here.And they are getting angry. They are getting angry because construction workers, defense contractors, major businessmen, bankers and Wall Street are all raking in the dough; benefiting from the various programs of government bailouts and thus are able to keep their homes, dreams, hopes, and purposes intact. The government is helping them, but excluding the workers.

I fear we are about to witness Americans turning their anger against multiple targets again. If so, welcome to the '60s.

Algird Sunskis

Lawrence, MA

Oct 27 2009 - 1:44pm

Web Letter

Most of the time I agree with the fine writers at The Nation. Not this time. The bailout plan, while flawed, needed to be passed. Nobody seriously tried to suggest that this plan would unfreeze credit, or halt the economic decline. What it could have done, however, is prevent continuing collapse of credit in this country.

People need to understand that conditions causing the current economic sluggishness are remarkably similar to the conditions that led to the Great Depression.

We are coming out of an era in which the stock markets were artificially inflated due to exuberant investing in companies that weren't actually producing anything. In other words, investors were investing in the idea of the companies, and not in what they actually produced. In fact, our financial economy has increasingly ignored American manufacturing and productivity, further rewarding outsourcing of jobs to other countries.

This, in turn, has led to a decline in American manufacturing and the housing and auto industries. The has a snowball effect upon the rest of the economy, leaving American workers, as usual, on the outside, looking in. Naturally, they began to have increasing difficulty in making ends meet.

Thus, a credit crisis ensued. Too many subprime mortgages and risky ARMs were sold to people who were not appropriate candidates for those products. Then, as they couldn't make the payments, foreclosures began to rise. At the same time, large financial institutions invested billions of dollars in investments built around these shaky loans. Is it any wonder the investments lost money?

Now some of these large financial institutions are failing, just as many banks failed during the first years of the Great Depression. Is anybody scared yet? I am.

This bailout was need not to reinvigorate the economy but to slow the bleeding. Certainly much more remains to be done. Many critics of the plan, including The Nation, have opted for the easy way out, pointing out the flaws and weaknesses of the plan, without offering any legitimate alternatives.

Now Congress and the president need to hammer out another compromise package, and hopefully prevent anyone from delivering fiery speeches in the name of "iron-willed ideological unity" that could kill legitimate attempts to stop the American--and world--economy from continuing to spiral out of control.

Scott Hercher

Mt. Cobb, PA

Sep 29 2008 - 6:33pm

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