Thanks to The Nation and Jeff Faux [“Is This The Big One?” April 14] for having the courage to shine a light on the grim reality this country (and the world) is facing while the mainstream media can only ask “Are we in a recession?” Government of the wealthy, by the wealthy and for the wealthy is never sustainable; such empires always fall from within. The wealthy and powerful have been leading this charge over the cliff with their golden parachutes and laser-guided bombs. Hopefully, we will learn from this very painful lesson that arrogance and greed have no place in a democracy and organize ourselves accordingly.
BEANT SINGH KHALSA
It Could Break Your Face
I was sitting in my car reading Christopher Hayes’s April 14 “End the War: Try Again,” and after several paragraphs I found myself smiling so hard my face felt like it would break, and honestly I just wanted to shout with righteousness. This feeling reminded me of something I’d read long ago, and I searched my files to find it. It was from Len De Caux’s “Armies of the Poor” (Len was a CIO activist from the ’30s): “Sometimes I’d hear a Communist speaker say something so bitter and extreme I’d feel embarrassed. Then I’d look around at the unemployed audience–shabby clothes, expressions worried and sour. Faces would start to glow, heads to nod, hands to clap. They liked that stuff best of all.” And now I quote Hayes: “To the millions who marched before the war began, to the hundreds of thousands who have protested since…the Bush Administration says, more or less, Go fuck yourself.” Well, my face is glowing, my head is nodding and I’m clapping my hands! Thank you, Mr. Hayes, for just plain saying it.
MARY ANN SCHROEDER
Thank you for David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler’s “Health Policy Placebos” [April 14]. The underreported story is how much grassroots support there is for a single-payer national health insurance program like HR 676–diversified support at that, from doctors to businesses to individuals. The media instead report on the candidates’ proposals, or think-tank market-based plans, as if there are no other serious options. Private health insurance is unsustainable. The task of a business, to make a profit, is at terrible odds with the person who needs healthcare. It’s time for a system in which everyone’s goals are the same: affordable quality healthcare, with the money used for actual care–not for exorbitant executive salaries, stock dividends, lobbyists or marketing.