Letters from our readers

15 November 2008

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

On "Layoffs mount, economic crisis deepens in the US"

Mr. Eley has logged and cataloged the latest series of economic failures and gives a preview of the coming economic failures as predicted by the capitalists themselves; that means that these future failures of capitalism are bound to happen. It's no longer a matter of if but when. Economic forecasting, like weather forecasting, isn't an exact science. The failure of DHL's US operations means that DHL's package-sorting center in Wilmington, Ohio, will close and 3,000 jobs will be gone. Wilmington is a small town. The layoff of 3,000 workers means that Wilmington will have de facto depression conditions well before the rest of the world may feel the cruel sting and smothering of massive unemployment.

Larry L

11 November 2008

On "Declining social conditions of students and youth in the US"

Sallie Mae's private loans are so high-interest, so loaded with penalties and fees that many of us who have been sunk by this company will surely not take on a mournful tone when speaking about the fact that they are making fewer loans. It is probably good that, finally, this quasi-private company that has its funds guaranteed by the federal government and looks on with glee at defaults as opportunities for profit, and is imbued with mafia-like powers for collection, is finally having to lay off innocent young students. Read the stories of that one tenth you mentioned who owe over $35,000 upon graduation here: www.studentloanjustice.org 

What we need is fully funded, free college education (and/or vocational training) for everyone in this country. The loans are ridiculous, and they stay with the student for life as they cannot even be discharged through bankruptcy anymore. 

VS

12 November 2008

On "Paulson announces shift in Wall Street bailout scheme"

Today I listened with amazement as Paulson defended his action as being the only logical thing to do since the "reality" of the situation had "changed." I am aghast that someone who could not properly assess the "reality" of a situation before asking for $700 billion to fix it is was given that money and carte blanche in its disposal! The "reality" changed? What reality? The previous reality that he did not have the money changed into the current reality that now he does, so tough on us? 

This massive grab of resources to further fatten those who already have so much is appalling—as this story unfolds, it becomes even more so.

Christie S

Oregon, USA

13 November 2008

* * *

You are being charitable to Paulson, et al., saying that they changed their minds about how to spend the $700 billion. They lied in the beginning. They will lie again. That money—and the emergency funds that follows it—will disappear down an accounting black hole.

Paulson has thus far refused to say where the money that has been spent already has gone. It is telling that Democrat Barney Frank endorses this lack of transparency on the grounds that, if investors knew, it would influence their investment decisions. (!)

We have stepped through the looking glass.

Lloyd G

South Dakota, USA 13 November 2008

On "Trevor Griffiths and David Walsh discuss ‘The Writer and Revolution'"

Applause for your Griffiths-Walsh discussion comes from this reader, as well. What a gift to all audiences who yearn for great, substantial art. I wish that such discussions could take place widely in the US for the enlightenment of USers! An especially appropriate time for a repeat of this excellent duet would be during the Thomas Paine Bicentennial celebrations in New York during June 2009.

Joyce C

13 November 2008

* * *

Thank you for publishing this very important and highly relevant discussion on a site that is the technological equivalent of international solidarity in our time. I've just finished reading "The Party" for an article I'm writing on David Mercer and was highly moved by the writer's recognition of the vitality of the Fourth International and the lost opportunities associated with individuals who were moving in the wrong directions. It is a highly creative work merging the personal with the political in sophisticated and not vulgar directions.

Griffiths is correct in recognizing a cultural coup stage-managed by the Tories and Labour Party that prevented his work from gaining wider recognition. The present state of UK television needs no further reference. Also, the descendants of those intellectuals in "The Party" soon moved towards postmodernism and embracing the "market" and the new more-refined social Darwinist aspects of competition that in reality mean the stifling of alternative ideas and dissident voices. I've witnessed it so much in academia, an institution now discredited entirely by its current suppression of free speech and movement towards the "numbers game" and product placement, especially of graduate students who are expected to "play the game" and fill in the slots in educational corporations.

However, the important fact is that he is still working, using new sources on the Internet, and republishing his plays and working on the significance of Tom Paine. The fact that the audience was mostly young reveals that there is still hope. Also, we have the Trevor Griffiths Internet site as we have the Peter Watkins site and others that recognize the value of new technology today not to reaffirm corporate values but to use it against the common enemy. I'm really looking forward to reading the Tom Paine screenplay since, at the present moment, it seems impossible for a film version to appear in today's global market that attempts to silence any alternative forms of representation, whether artistic or political.

Tony W

13 November 2008

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