Over the last few months, thenation.com has made an effort to foster a robust and thoughtful comments section befitting the mighty intelligence of our readership. We’re pleased to report that the shoe ads are gone, the name-calling is at a minimum and astute and witty commentary is on the rise. Here are our favorite comments from the last week. Let us know what you think — in the comments!
Dwight Wall: Ari, I note you cite the best part of this speech, and I agree that it is further evidence of how OWS has changed the conversation. I also agree that he needs to go beyond the rhetoric — I felt that the policy statements were vague. For one, I think the idea that we are going to educate our way out of this mess, while important, does not get to the fundamental challenge — we need an economy that provides a living wage to both the skilled and unskilled. He noted the "race to the bottom" in environment, wages, and working conditions yet seemed to take our trade policies off the table. I can’t see how we reverse that race to the bottom without addressing unfair trade practices designed to accelerate that race.
In response to Ari Berman’s “In Osawatomie, Obama Embraces New Populist Moment.” December 6, 2011.
Mailman: Thank you Mr. Nichols! I’m a letter carrier with 14 years of service at the ol’ PO. The Institution has been well documented as a mean-spirited, dysfunctional place to work–so much so that I would give 2 weeks notice tomorrow if I had something better to go to. But I can’t. It is a stable middle-class income with a modest pension, good retirement, healthcare, life insurance, paid vacation and sick leave–all won through the COLLECTIVE BARGAINING agreements with UNIONS. Where else can I get that in this day and age? As the country goes, so goes the USPS I guess. I say give the institution that is the United States Postal Service (that is owned by the American people & controlled by Congress) back to the people. Make it a non-profit cooperative run by the employees with the protections of collectively bargained rights. Congress needs to eliminate the Postal Rates Commission, the Board of Governors, the Postmaster General and his cabinet of officials. They have all contributed to the bloated tedious layers of bureaucracy and implemented dysfunctional changes designed to sabotage the organization. I have seen it for the last 14 years. It is time to show them the door. The Congressman from Oregon is onto something. It is time for the American people to assert their constitutional rights and take back their country and its institutions. We do the work and pay the taxes. Isn’t it fair to have some say in our lives as a nation?
In response to John Nichols’ “The Postal Service Plots Its Own Demise.” December 6, 2011.