Letters from our readers

3 May 2008

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

On “US Federal Reserve cuts interest rates as housing slump, recession deepen”

Barry, it’s even much worse than your article suggests. It is a foregone conclusion that the housing crash in market value will continue (as Shiller is now allowed by S&P lawyers to say) with a projected 55 percent decline continuing for 7.5 years. It’s also certain that the credit markets will continue to crash. But the real issue has already shifted beyond these market crashes to the outright ‘looting’ of the US commonwealth through what can only be called the Fed’s “Great Giveaway.”

You correctly noted, “The Fed took the unprecedented step—at least since the Great Depression—of allowing non-depository investment banks to borrow directly from its coffers, in exchange for mortgage-backed debt and other speculative securities”.

However, the full extent of the Fed’s new ‘anything goes’ discount windows will not become apparent until the defaults begin. Totals on these programs have quickly risen to about $300 billion, and look like they could hit Bush’s total debt on the Iraq war by January 2009.

I suspect that the bankers are finding that they can easily manipulate these new FED programs into Ponzi-like arrangements, and that what we may see first will subtly look like ‘virtual defaults’ where renewed loans from the Fed are being used, in part, to repay maturing 28 day loans.

Wait until average American citizens start to see the investment banks and Wall Street primary dealers begin to default on the Fed ‘loans’ they have been given by their crooked Bush administration enablers supporting them at the FED and Treasury.

When American public taxpayers see this ‘loan game’ to Wall Street as an accelerated version of Bush’s $300 billion waste of our common-wealth in the Iraq disaster—on steroids—then we’ll start to see all these cons and neocons on the real, ‘old-sparky’ Hotseat.

The “worst policy mistake in a generation” will not turn out to be the specific “Bailout of Bear”—but the opening of these new ‘anything goes’ discount windows at the Fed for the predatory and unregulated investment banks and their related private equity pirates and hedgy friends. This really “worst policy mistake ever” will only become compellingly obvious to everyone as we soon begin to see the first swell of bank defaults on their giveaway Fed ‘loans.’

While this may come as a surprise to most Americans, it will not shock George Akerlof, Nobel laureate in economics, who said of the Bush administration’s economic policies all the way back in 2002: “What we have here is not normal economic policy, but a form of looting.”

Barry, we have already collapsed from an extreme, but ‘normal’ market crash, to outright ‘looting’ as fast as the ‘corporatist Empire’ can get their hands on all of America’s commonwealth. This will make the financial rape and looting of Russia in the early and mid 1990s look like a Sunday school picnic.

AM

Sanford, Maine, USA

1 May 2008

On “New French labour law attacks workers’ rights”

Dear Françoise Thull, I’ve just read your article on the changes in the French labour code, which I much appreciate. It demonstrates the dangers and attacks on democratic rights for the working class and the complicity of the trade unions in the destruction of the legal protections for employees in the labour code. In your effort to study and bring out these facts you do, through the WSWS, a great service to the working class. TS

Amiens, France

2 May 2008

On “Five years after ‘mission accomplished,’ sharp rise in Iraqi and US casualties”

Gee, I was so busy listening to GWB crow over the National Day of Prayer that I almost forgot (not really—I’m still enraged over it) his little lying/strutting chickenhawk act aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. What an insult to/crime against all sailors, all Americans, all of humanity. Thanks for keeping the record straight and not letting them redact/throw the truth down the memory hole. They were, without question, maintaining at that time that the worst was over. What a joke.

RM

2 May 2008

On “US dockworkers’ union holds eight-hour work stoppage to protest Iraq war”

As a member of an ILWU local, I agree with the outlook expressed in the article about the May Day action. We regularly receive emails from the ILWU HQ in support of this candidate or that (Democratic Party, of course) for the primaries coming up in this state. Our local voted not to endorse anyone—at least for now, and I will continue to vote not to endorse either major party.

While the majority of our members do oppose the war, fewer are seeing the support of the candidates on offer as the way out of it. There is increasing talk within the ranks of the betrayals by the Democratic Party in regards to working people. There is also a growing awareness of the dangers of trade unionism itself, as we witness the UAW machinations, among others.

I would have appreciated if all ILWU workers were called on to stay home, or otherwise stay away from the workplaces for the day. A number of us did arrange the day off, but there were enough people to shuffle schedules around so as to minimize the impact. For too many of us, it was business as usual. There was also some confusion within the ranks not directly involved as to whether the action was going to go ahead. I can understand not letting the bosses know until the last second, but to keep it from the workers who would have come out in support is not acceptable.

One part of the article particularly struck me—as often happens with these things—the injection of nationalism into the action. International Longshore and Warehouse Workers. International. It seems that the Iraqi port workers got that, but that the stateside leadership dropped the ball. Not the first time.

CMS

Portland, Oregon, USA

2 May 2008

On “Australian Labor government’s ‘2020 summit’: more political spin to package right-wing agenda”

The recent 1,000 delegate, federal government sponsored Australia 2020 Summit ignored the acute seriousness of the Climate Emergency facing the world. It found no solutions to climate change but “carbon neutral new housing after 2020” and oxymoronic “clean coal,” and would not even use the word “renewables.” While expert researchers have found that 1 in 3 Australian women are sexually abused as children, the Australia 2020 Summit further betrayed Australia’s kids by ignoring this horrendous reality.

Australia as a whole also “looks the other way” and refuses to see the “elephant in the room” in relation to 20 horrendous genocide events with which it has been associated over the last 220 years, either by itself or as an associate of British or American imperialism. Indeed Australia has a continuing involvement in ongoing Aboriginal, Palestinian, Iraqi, Biofuel, Climate and Afghan Genocides that are overwhelmingly not reported by mainstream media, politicians, teachers or academics.

Thus reported in the Chinese Shanghai Daily recently but not by Australian or Western media: “The annual infant death rate in occupied Afghanistan (6.2 percent) is 51 times that in occupier Australia, 38 times that in occupier US and similar to the ‘annual death rate’ of 10.2 percent for Australian prisoners of war of the Japanese in World War II—a war crime for which key Japanese leaders were tried and hanged.”

GP

Melbourne, Australia

30 April 2008