Letters from our readers

6 August 2003

Below we post a selection of recent letters to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “Blair’s press conference and the crisis of political legitimacy

This is a brilliant piece that should be expanded. The fact that people’s needs and ideas are constantly being overruled by a small minority is a problem in many countries. In the US, polls show the majority of people want health insurance and many other social programs. Neither party is leading the charge for greater job security and health insurance for all. It is a function both of the way our campaigns are financed—that politicians in both parties channel their message for the good of contributors rather than the majority of the population. Money trumps numbers—with the money you buy the numbers; and the media which not only misrepresents progressive issues as outside the “mainstream” or ignores them altogether.

This is a fantastic topic for you to expand upon.

Best wishes,

DH

New York

5 August 2003

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Thank you for the information posted. Most Americans, including myself, have little real info as to what is actually happening in the “real” world.

5 August 2003

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On “Long-term unemployment on the rise in US

To whom it may concern,

As far as being out of work, I know the feeling. I have been off work for the last 10 months, not because of downsizing or no work. I was injured on the job here in Texas. What really stinks about being injured here is that they have rewritten the laws to make it harder on people to the get the medical help they need to return to work.

What happened to the big tax cuts for the rich that were supposed to promote jobs? $93,500 to the top millionaires—it seems like the Robin Hood theory here went a little backwards, wouldn’t you say? But what should we expect, especially when the president elected himself and then hand-picked all the merry men and women who will leave office and go to private companies. Is this going to be the way they drain the poor Americans dry? Cut this and cut that, our seniors are already selling their homes and land just to pay for medical bills.

Thank you,

D from Texas

4 August 2003

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Editor,

“470,000 stopped looking for work in July: Long-term unemployment on the rise in US,” by Shannon Jones” is a very well-written piece on more of the side-effects of a flawed economic system. I would like to pose a serious question. After the Reagan and Bush recessions and with the current recession or depression happening right before us, why do economics departments in universities around the country continue to crank out supply-side economists? Who is paying for the research grants that these people have to be living off of? When someone getting their PhD in food sciences releases a study that highlights the amazing benefits of milk then one can easily deduce that the Dairy Council has somehow slipped a bit of grant money into their pocket. But the question remains, in this day and age with all that we know, how can an economist graduate from a prestigious university with a dissertation on the benefits of supply-side economics? Am I missing something? I haven’t seen many engineering students writing dissertations on the advantages of steam-powered space exploration or coal-fired submarine technology lately.

PK

4 August 2003

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On “Australia: Ticket inspectors on Victorian train leave youth for dead

To WSWS,

Thanks for the recent article on how the ticket inspectors in Victoria left a 15-year-old youth for dead on July 9th. He jumped off a moving train, ignored, to avoid a $100 fine when confronted by ticket inspectors who refused to let him buy his $1.10 train fare. I find this disturbing that a young man was put in this situation. Something is wrong when the inspectors actually saw him jump off and when told to get help they could not care less for the welfare of the youth. For 46 minutes he lay unconscious on the side of the railway track. His friends had to get help when they got to the next station.

The lack of compassion for the youth by the ticket inspectors comes from the general atmosphere directed against working class youth. The police-minded bullies that run around the public transport system are not hired to be helpful or improve services, but they’re concerned only with getting as many people fined so they can get their daily quotas to show how important their miserable job is to the private company.

Yes, people do not buy tickets but the majority of people do and the decline in revenue is more to do with the fact less people are using the system. Less people are going into the city centres. The trams and trains are slow, unreliable, dirty and because of the ticket inspectors are annoying.

Best regards,

AS

2 August 2003


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