Moneybags to Middle Class: Drop Dead
There is only one element missing from William Greider’s stellar analysis of the state of American capitalism, “The End of New Deal Liberalism” [Jan. 24]. The capitalist class has figured out that it no longer needs demand from our middle class to sustain production or profits. It is more profitable to produce overseas and then, with the cheap dollar, sell the products to the burgeoning middle classes of India, China, even the Middle East. Customers here number only 200 to 300 million. Customers there number 500 million or more, and growing.
Whatever motive impelled Henry Ford to pay a living wage or others of his status to tolerate government subsidies of middle-class life (the GI bill, mortgage deductions, college tuition aid, union protection), it’s gone now. We’ve all thought such subsidy is what America is about. Not. It was about maintaining demand for extraordinary productive capacity. Don’t need that demand anymore. The policies that enabled its growth are nothing but a diversion of profit to the undeserving.
I hope Mr. Greider will write in his inimitable way on this consequence of globalization for civilized life (here, that is).
I strongly object to The Nation’s regular inclusion of the FLAME advertisement. Is this an attempt to be ironic?
STEVEN LANCE FORNAL
New York City
I fail to understand by what logic you find it reasonable to run the biased FLAME ad in your otherwise respectable publication. If your magazine is so desperate for money that you accept ads from an organization that misconstrues “facts” and blatantly promotes the violent right-wing Israeli state, then you might as well give up publishing. I’d rather see ads from porn sites. In fact, cancel my subscription.
The latest FLAME joke, in the January 24 edition, almost produced a fit of apoplexy. A few years ago I canceled my subscription to The New Republic because of its clear pro-Israel bias, which negated any claim it might have had to journalistic integrity. I was tempted to cancel over the FLAME ad in The Nation a couple of months ago. I forwarded a copy of my letter to you about the ad to Gerardo Joffe, the president of FLAME. He had the effrontery to call me and inquire whether I was an anti-Semite. I laughed at him and suggested he was nothing more than another Abe Foxman.
After reading his latest screed, I calmed down slightly when I noted you had placed it on the last page. I suggest you not only place the ad on the last page but that you perforate the page along its edge so it can be easily detached and taken to the lavatory to be used appropriately.
Brace yourselves for the FLAME ad appearing on page 23 of this issue. As our readers know, very few American publications challenge Israel’s policies and its treatment of the Palestinian people as The Nation does. We often publish articles that controvert the distorted rhetoric in FLAME ads. However, we accept advertising not to further our views but to defray the costs of publishing. The Nation’s advertising policy (TheNation.com/node/33589) starts with the presumption that “we will accept advertising even if the views expressed are repugnant to the editors.”
We do impose limits on commercial ads, barring, for example, the lurid, patently fraudulent, illegal or libelous. But ads that present a political point of view fall under our editorial commitment to freedom of speech, so we grant them the same latitude we claim for our own views. We do reserve the right to denounce the content of such ads, which we frequently do. —The Editors