Letters from our readers
27 July 2010
This whole egregious situation, ecologically and socially, is a logical result the capitalist state, headed by Obama, defence of the profit system; it can only be understood in class terms. Instead of criminal prosecution and the seizing of the assets of the oil giant, the Obama administration has deemed BP to be “too big to fail”, declaring that it wants British Petroleum to remain a “strong, viable entity”. This logic has led it to give BP full control to deal with the “spill”, obfuscate and cover up the real disaster situation, thwart popular relief efforts and ignore the human, ecological and economical disaster, in order to protect BP’s bottom line and its “integrity”.
There is another dimension, rarely mentioned: BP is a UK-based multinational, so any drastic action on part of Obama would have threatened the alliance and the “special relationship”. There is, of course, another complication with the November elections approaching, a fear of Republican reaction, and the effect on the “war on terror”.
In summary, Obama acted in accordance with class interests of the capitalist and imperialist state that he presides over.
The question now is: have these events raised the consciousness 0of the masses, for a defence of their interests, and a broad socialist revolution? . .
July 21, 2010
I wrote a letter to the WSWS last month discussing the Gulf oil spill. One of the comments I made was that there are large numbers of rigs and workers not currently in use due to the economic downturn. I recently came upon an article that confirmed this from rigzone.com. The article stated:
“Current overall utilization for the Gulf of Mexico rig market is approximately 62 percent, with 73 out of 117 rigs in the region under contract”
Further evidence that there were plenty of resources that could have been mobilised independently of BP to deal with this catastrophe.
On another note, I see that the US government is once again concentrating on peripheral issues around the spill, this time the influence of BP in securing the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in return for oil contracts in Libya. I can’t help but feel a more appropriate use of the US governments time would be looking into the effect of BP lobbying on safety conditions in the oil industry and the direct effect this had on the current situation. Perhaps Obama could start this off by publicly paying back the money he has received from BP over the years.
July 21, 2010
Unfortunately, this is how modern capitalism functions. The goal of modern capitalism is not to produce a viable product affordable to working people in order to earn a modest profit and distribute this to shareholders while holding some back for research and development and capital improvements.
Can anyone imagine where the US auto industry would be today if Henry Ford had based his business model on paying peanuts to his workers and selling them horrible automobiles through the Ford Auto Finance Corporation at usurious interest rates?
I will tell you where it would be. It would be owned by the US government, which is not to be confused with being owned by the US population.
July 22, 2010
I am glad to see you point out the poverty in Appalachia—it is often not known and people need to be aware of the deprivation and suffering there, especially before or while they buy their “necessary” new technological toys. I used to live there.
Erie, PA, USA
July 22, 2010
On “A lie exposed”
I read this article awhile back, and understood the problems with the HCR. I am a nurse in a major HUGE health care conglomerate and have pretty good health insurance. Yesterday I got a letter from my insurance carrier that my rheumatologist (who is with another hospital conglomerate) will have to be paid 100 percent by ME now, since they have dropped this other hospital conglomerate from their health care. So I will have to switch to my hospital conglomerate for arthritis and fibromyalgia care, and they don't have a good rheumatologist on staff. So I guess I'll just start going to my GP, who IS in my hospital conglomerate. Look how fast this starts to switch?
July 23, 2010
I just got through training two cohorts of workers who are to do oil boom decontamination in Mississippi and Alabama. Very good people, hard workers, who are mostly African-Americans--most of whom are destitute and need money, not now, but day before yesterday and beyond ...
To subject these people—who are noble in my mind, because they are—is to add egregious insult to injury.
You have no idea how bad something like this pisses me off.
July 23, 2010
Perhaps your article should include some more analysis of the real imperative behind an emissions trading scheme, namely an opportunity for financial institutions to expand the derivatives market into carbon credits. This point seems to be the biggest driver behind “market” solutions and the whole ETS movement around the world. Just what we need—more financialisation of the economy!
It’s good to see the real left movement drawing the same conclusions as the libertarian right on the sham that is “market-based” solutions to climate change. I don't understand why countries can't just implement cuts to emissions.
July 25, 2010