The DSK dossier; more jobs = higher GDP.


The DSK Dossier

Madison, N.C.

Re “Au Revoir, France” [June 13]: Is The Nation at least a little bit sorry about having printed that over-the-top ideological venting by Katha Pollitt about Dominique Strauss-Kahn?

Pollitt never had the least doubt that Strauss-Kahn was guilty as sin of everything the poor “victim” accused him of.


Yonkers, N.Y.

When I was 21, after spending a year in Paris working and living, I was raped. This man, who was French, was someone I considered to be a new platonic friend.

When my friends (from Guadeloupe) persuaded me to go to the police, I called my Parisian aunt to inform her that I would use her name as a contact, as I would need to give a report of the crime at the local commissariat. Her response was, “Well, what do you expect? Of course you will be raped if you go to the home of a man you hardly know.” The police were equally enlightened. And when I went to a hospital for an exam, the trend continued.

From all I learned in those dreadful few days, the rape was apparently my fault. I was treated like a fierce perpetrator who was violating a code of honor over which French society had, long before my arrival, formed a deep and sacred pact.

It was not until reading Katha Pollitt’s column that I finally found someone who echoed, with total clarity, what I have tried to articulate regarding the collective French consciousness. I said, “Au revoir, France” in 1980… and never had the slightest desire to return.


More Jobs = Higher GDP

Lansdowne, Pa.

Alice Amsden’s letter [June 13] states that “increases in GDP raise paid employment.” This is an exaggeration. GDP is a result, not a cause. Gross domestic product results from a number of statistical factors, including paid employment.

Except in rare instances where the latest GDP number or trend might influence an employer to hire someone, or an employer does so as the result of a similarly influenced investor or government action, GDP doesn’t trickle up, down or sideways to create paid jobs.

Like the proverbial Better Mousetrap Theory, Amsden’s statement is, like many, if not most, supply-side economics concepts, literally backward. More paid jobs increase GDP.



In “The Shelters That Clinton Built” [Aug. 1/8], authors Isabel Macdonald and Isabeau Doucet quoted the International Organization for Migration’s Bradley Mellicker as stating, “That’s a lie,” after the quotation from the Clinton Foundation’s COO, Laura Graham, claiming that IOM had played a role in the procurement process for the trailers. While IOM played no role, Mellicker’s statement was made in response to a claim by a different Clinton Foundation source that IOM had led the procurement process, and not in response to Graham. We regret the error.

IOM’s communications director, Leonard Doyle, who declined to be interviewed for the article, has since clarified the matter: “While IOM was not involved in the development of the particular Leogane project, nor in the identification of the contractor, an IOM staff member seconded to the Office of the Special Envoy helped compile a list of potential contractors at one stage in the process.”

The Nation understands that the Clinton Foundation and Office of the Special Envoy looked at the list of unsolicited offers and picked a winner, and that there was no public bid.

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Katrina vanden Heuvel
Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation

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