Letters: November 1, 2008

Redistribution? That’s capitalism!

John McCain and Sarah Palin are giving socialism a bad name! They describe socialism as a system to redistribute the wealth.

Give me a break! It’s capitalism that has redistributed more wealth than any economic system in human history.

It starts when workers — the vast majority of the world’s population — apply their brain and muscle and time to create all the food, manufactured goods and health, educational and other services that sustain life. The products of that labor are sold on the global market. But the producers only keep of fraction of the proceeds. The rest is redistributed to the capitalists who control the process.

Even out of the portion that the workers get to keep in the form of pay, a fair amount gets redistributed back to corporate America in the form of predatory financial schemes such as interest, credit card charges, and the gambling industry.

Taxes actually are another form of redistribution.

But it is workers who pay the bulk of payroll, sales, real estate as well as income tax. It’s Big Business that mooches off the government.

Can you think of any more examples of how capitalism redistributes the wealth created by workers into corporate vaults? Please send your ideas to add to the collection.





B. Wood

Chicago IL





Class warfare

Have you ever noticed that when proposals are made to raise the tax rate on the very well-to-do (shall we say rich) in this country, it’s called by some of them or their media spokespersons “class warfare”?

Bill O’Reilly and Russ Limbaugh have been spewing that venom forth when proposals have been made to up the income tax on those making over $250,000 a year.

However, when they oppose legislation that would assist the less fortunate in our society i.e., increase the minimum wage or provide health insurance for those not covered, it’s called “fiscal responsibility.”

Case in point, and right here in Pennsylvania, is the right-wing opposition to provide health coverage for the 800,000 uninsured of our state’s citizens. However, to avoid the utter stigmatization that would and should be heaped upon them, they said they would be willing to consider a proposal limiting health insurance coverage to just one-third of that number, to 250,000. But not now, heaven forbid but four years from now in 2012.

And with less benefits than originally envisioned … no eye or hearing exams, or emergency dental care.

The longer we wait to cover all Americans, but most certainly the uninsured, people will get sicker and some people will die.

Fiscal responsibility, my foot. That’s class warfare!!





Lawrence Geller

Via e-mail

Free Liliany Obando

Just wanted to say great job on getting the info out about the disturbing detention of Liliany Obando (PWW 10/18-24).

Yet another independent source apart from Interpol found difficulty in accepting the material within the FARC-EP computers. In July, the State General Public Prosecution Office of Ecuador disclosed that all files under analysis had shown signs of tampering by the Colombian state. In effect, any “proof” related to ridiculous allegations against Obando is far from conclusive thereby making her detention, let alone charges, inadmissible in any functioning court of democratic law.





James Brittain

Nova Scotia, Canada

James Brittain is an assistant professor at Acadia University in Canada.





‘Religulous’ and religion

Good show on Jim Lane’s review of the Bill Maher documentary “Religulous” (PWW 10/18-24). Although I have a certain mistrust of Maher’s role as radical chic, I agree with Lane that the cinema is very worthy and deserves a look-see.

I was awaiting and hoping, however, during the movie and Lane’s review, for that pointed seven-word analysis of religion that was not mentioned that has stood the test of time. Not surprised about Maher. He does not have that deep a political grasp or awareness. I refer to Karl Marx’s legendary truth that (sic) religion is the opiate of the people, seven words that sum up capitalism’s use of religion that is so significantly a part of the people’s exploitation. “Religulous” hints at it, as does the Lane review. But I just wish they had been quoted and properly credited.





Don Sloan

New York NY





Jim Lane replies: The quote you mention is misleading out of context. Here is part of the fuller quote: “Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”





Kabul

Thousands of bombs exploded

between the land and the sky of Kabul.

Thousand of children, men and women

shouted in fear and pain.

Asphyxiated by smoke of depleted uranium

and radioactive cancerous dust

they were left in an enormous cemetery.

The air of Kabul was filled

with the odor of death.

Six years later, all is silence

about the destruction of Kabul

while the American people

prepare themselves for another

election. So far, yet so close,

not rebuilt, not an issue,

not a plan for freedom

for the city of Kabul.





Teresinka Pereira

Toledo OH

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