Hoary Myth Laid to Rest

Great Falls, Va.


Hoary Myth Laid to Rest

Great Falls, Va.

In the opening sentence of your November 3 lead editorial, you quoted Richard Nixon as saying, “We are all Keynesians now.” In fact, it was economist Milton Friedman who said that. His exact words were, “In one sense, we are all Keynesians now; in another, nobody is any longer a Keynesian” (Time magazine, February 4, 1966). What Nixon said in 1971 was slightly different. Following an interview with Howard K. Smith of ABC, Nixon said, “I am now a Keynesian in economics” (New York Times, January 4, 1971).


Deadline Poet Got Her Through…

Toledo, Ohio

I thought that XM Radio’s uncensored Comedy Channel 150 and Michael Moore’s TCFF weekly e-mails would get me through this election season and our economic mess. But I thank The Nation and Deadline Poet Calvin Trillin for his weekly jolt of humor and reality! Not sure I could have made it without you.


Time to Turn Green

Hillsborough, N.C.

For years we have been told to trust industry or government to take care of America. Both have let us down and can’t be depended on to fix things [William Greider, “Dr. Paulson’s Magic Potion,” Nov. 3]. We the people must stand up and save America. Those of us who have jobs need to tighten our belts and buy “green bonds” to invest in our country and community. Revenues from green bonds would turn government building green, build rapid transit and light rail, invest in wind and solar power. This will put our neighbors to work, reduce the cost of government by making the infrastructure more efficient and promote new sustainable industries. By selling green bonds, federal, state and local government will give common citizens an opportunity to be patriotic and to secure our future and that of our country.


Obama & the Supremes

DeWitt, Mich.

I agree with Herman Schwartz (“The Supreme Court and the Election: What’s at Stake,” Nov. 3) that it will be better to have Obama making Supreme Court nominations than McPain. However, I have a couple of not-so-minor comments: Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg are, at best, relatively liberal. They’re still corporatists. And sure, the Democrats don’t want another Bork fight. But you have to admit that they caved in all too quickly on Alito. Think how much better off we’d be today if the Republicans had been forced to exercise the “nuclear option” in the Alito case. The Republicans outfox the Democrats every time in the use of the cloture rule.


What Took You So Long?

Santa Monica, Calif.

I recently renewed my Nation subscription after more than a half-century of lapse, and it’s just wonderful to be back. I wanted to say how very happy I am that the magazine has continued unrepentant as ever.

I first subscribed to The Nation when I was in high school, in the late 1950s. I remember devouring the special issue on “The Ultras,” reading it again and again. I saved all my copies for years. The editorial pages were the best part of the magazine, with Carey McWilliams in full flower–and the magazine was a great place for a young man to improve his English.

My return has prompted a flood of reflection. Now, as then, I read and usually say, “Yes, but nobody is going to do this/believe this.” But I notice that just about everything The Nation commented on, predicted or expressed concern about half a century ago turned out to be accurate. From pointing out, again and again, Homer Bigart’s writings about Vietnam in the New York Times and his warnings, which proved exactly correct, through descriptions of the far right, which as a student I was certain were too extreme–my, my, no they weren’t. Compared with the truth as it has come out, your comments were quite moderate.

The Nation is not a magazine to read to get happy. I don’t read it when I’m too low to take a heavy shot of depressing insight. But the happy part is that good thinking is being published, and being read, and that is probably the best news.


Confucius Confusion


Richard Low incorrectly asserts that Orville Schell “misplaced” Confucius’s saying “The moral power of the junzi is like the wind; the moral power of the common people is like the grass. When blown, the grass cannot but bend before the wind” [“Letters,” Nov. 17]. The verse is indeed found in the Analects (12:19 in both the Lau and Legge translations). It is also, as Low asserts, quoted in Book III of Mencius.



In William Greider’s “Establishment Disorder” (Nov. 17), the phrase “malefactors of great wealth” should have been attributed to Teddy, not Franklin, Roosevelt.

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