Letters from our readers

27 March 2008

The following is a selection of recent letters sent to the World Socialist Web Site.

On “Strike against wage cutting completes first month: Pay for American Axle CEO raises to $10.2 million”

My grandfather was in the sit-down strikes and would now be so sick to know we just handed everything back on a silver platter this year. My husband doesn’t know anybody who voted for this contract at the GM plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but it passed. And the union doesn’t tell you anything important before you vote to ratify or not. It’s refreshing to read a viewpoint I agree with.

Thank you so much.

LM

Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA 25 March 2008

* * *

The corporate greed that is infecting society has to stop. The local union reps should demand to be present at these talks given the recent contracts that the UAW has negotiated. I am a Canadian GM employee building GMT 900s and here is my advice: Don’t trust the UAW as far as you could throw them. They don’t care if you are making $10/hour or $30/hour. Do not go back to work until your contract has been ratified. Read the fine print, and look beyond any incentives for signing. Don’t let the UAW ‘negotiate’ away your future and that of your families. Fight the good fight. Your Canadian brothers and sisters are behind you!

CM

Canada

26 March 2008

On “Detroit mayor charged on eight criminal counts”

It is the same in the UK. The Labour government is now full of politicians totally out of tune with the daily lives of ordinary people. Regularly, scandals emerge and these MP’s fiddle their expenses and don’t even have to produce expense receipts when putting in bills for £250.00. They do not revolt over Iraq, the erosion of civil liberties to counter terrorist “threats.” Talk about complacent. Blair has made a fortune on the backs of ordinary people, as has his wife. They earn millions here, millions there and mix and mingle with the very, very rich and powerful. I’d put the lot of them on the national minimum hourly wage and send their kids to state schools and not allow them to use private medicine and use public transport instead!

PA

Teddington, UK

25 March 2008

On “Social inequality leads to gap in US life expectancy”

Well. Poverty equals shorter lifespans. This is a fairly brilliant assessment, but I think we already knew part of the equation. We also know the rest of the story, if we pay attention to the effects of far-reaching global change, including poor air and water quality due to industrial waste and other man-made toxins. The possibilities are virtually endless. My father beat the odds, until cancer killed him in 1994. He was 84 years old and I doubt I will be so fortunate. Those researchers, have they been working on the hypothesis long? Surely, as learned men, they must have other things to teach us. I eagerly await future findings...

Columbus, Ohio, USA

26 March 2008

On “Nuance and depth needed: Persepolis”

Good critique. I found Perselopis to be a very good film. Although it does likely need more depth and nuance as you note, the story, the characters and the overall experience of watching the film is thought provoking and insightful. I think that when we see that at least 95 percent of all films avoid important topics, whether historical or fictional, in regards to social inequality, oppression, imperialism, revolution and the like, films like Persepolis shine and should be commended. I also found the artwork and animation, besides their appealing aesthetics, to enhance what and how the movie could elucidate important points.

JC

Sacramento, California, USA

24 March 2008

On “NY Times article questions official explanation of sex probe that forced New York governor to resign”

Further reason for the political assassination of former Governor Eliot Spitzer can be surmised from an editorial in the Washington Post of February 14, 2008 by Spitzer. Spitzer directly attacked the Bush administration for actively preventing all 50 state governments from dealing with the growing economic crisis in the face of federal inaction over predatory lending. Part of the editorial reads as follows:

“In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

“But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation.”

Within a month of this editorial against the banks and Bush, Spitzer was forced to resign by revelations of the sex scandal.

HL

24 March 2008