Inequality, Inc.

I was much impressed by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian’s “The Inequality Industry” [Oct. 8/15]. While understandably not as objective as a peer-reviewed journal article, it came close. I read it as “wisdom in black and white.”
Frank Dixon
madison, va.

Overruling the Court

Regarding Richard Kim’s editorial “Court Reform, Anyone?” [Oct. 8/15]: It says right in the Declaration of Independence that when the government isn’t working for the people, they have the right, the duty, and the obligation to change the “forms to which they have become accustomed” and organize a government that better suits the people’s needs. And that’s what they did after waging a nine-year war.

The Declaration was the first step; the Constitution was the second. Yet when the rules for the Supreme Court were written, people didn’t live as long and retired earlier. These rules need to be reorganized to better suit the needs of people who live longer and retire later. After all, that’s what the Republicans are doing: reorganizing our inherited system of government to better suit the needs of the greedy and gluttonous, the few, the wealthy, the self-righteous.

Reorganize now!

Nancy Lindsay

A Flaming Outrage

I very much appreciated the article “Worse Than Lead?” by Jamie Kitman [Sept. 10/17]. After reading it, I tried to find out if my couch cushions had been treated with flame retardants, but there was no information. Is there a requirement to notify people of their use? My other questions: Where is the action component in your great work? How can we stop these dangerous chemicals?
Jane Moosbruker
acton, mass.

Jamie Kitman Replies

Unfortunately, in many cases, there is no way to know for certain whether a product contains flame retardants. Manufacturers are not required to disclose this information, and most companies don’t do so willingly. In California, upholstered furniture is now required to display a label revealing the presence of these chemicals.

And yes, advocacy is crucial. Consumers need to ask for products without added chemical flame retardants. Manufacturers care even more about what consumers want than what the chemical companies or regulators want. So they need to hear from shoppers, loud and clear. Ask online and at brick-and-mortar retailers whether a product has flame retardants. Ask for the manufacturers’ websites to be more transparent and for clear labels on their products. Additionally, consider making a contribution to one of the organizations that make up the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition. These groups are getting state laws passed, filing lawsuits, testing products for toxic chemicals, and pressuring companies to make their products safer.

Jamie Kitman
nyack, n.y.