Spoiler syndrome can be cured

The debate about Ralph Nader as a spoiler (“Nader’s disastrous decision to run in 2004,” PWW 3/6-12) centers around the “Nader effect” in 2000. Ross Perot “spoiled” the chances of Bush the First in 1992. The independent Perot is accused of “electing” the Democrat Bill Clinton by drawing votes from the elder Bush, the Republican.

I believe that both Perot and Nader fail to emphasize the most important point. That is where there is a fair ballot, problems never arise such as the wasted vote syndrome, the spoiler syndrome, so-called strategic voting, the lesser-of-two-evils dilemma, split vote debacles, marginalized third parties, etc.

A fair ballot for president would be a direct vote (no Electoral College) by preferential ballot. That ballot is nick-named “instant run-off.” Each voter may number their choices: first, second, third, etc. With that ballot, a voter could mark Nader as their first choice and the Democratic nominee as their second choice – or anyone else, etc. After the count of the first choices, if no candidate receives a majority, the poll officials transfer some votes and count again. The first votes transferred are those with the last-place candidate as their first choice. If no one then has a majority, the next-to-last candidate’s votes are transferred, and so on, until someone gets a majority. In that system, the voter is not afraid to vote for someone like Nader, knowing that their vote will be transferred, if needed, rather than “wasted.”

Korky DayVia e-mail

Threat of privatization

Of the two monthly checks, both received early in the month, the Social Security check brings me more money. The threat of privatizing Social Security is a threat to me. The way that I understand it, whenever the stock market goes down, the size of my Social Security check would also go down.

However, I have read nothing about just what is this privatization of Social Security. It would be convenient if you would write about it and then I could explain to friends just what is this privatization. And my friend, Felix, would listen with interest.

Albert B. ThurstonYonkers NY

Six good reasons

Here are six good reasons why George W. Bush should not be president again:

• The rich don’t need more tax cuts.
• Exporting jobs doesn’t make American families richer.

• The price of gasoline is skyrocketing and the president doesn’t care.
• Today, more Iraqis are against the U.S. than ever. Iraq is out of control and getting worse, while the majorities in other countries are universally against the President’s war.
• The vice president’s ex-employer, Halliburton has defrauded the federal government of at least $300 million, while taking advantage of no-bid sales opportunities that wouldn’t have existed were it not for his war.
• If Bush is re-elected, look for his face on the new hundred billion dollar bill, the one he spends each time he starts another unnecessary war. Candidate Bush promised he wouldn’t engage in “nation-building” overseas, but now he says he’s a “war president” whose chief accomplishment is nation-building in Iraq.

Francis L. Holland, Esq. Montclair NJ

Race matters

In the article “Jobs crisis looms big in 2004 elections” (PWW 3/20-26), the writer quotes Julianne Malveaux: “The racist disparities in jobless rates, health, life expectancies for Black and Brown people means you have to do some targeting by race to guarantee equal opportunity. Without targeting for racial equality, good public policy does not necessarily trickle down to Black and Brown people.”

The above statement, in my opinion, is based more on being one of the working poor rather then one of race. No one with money or insurance will be turned away from a hospital regardless of race because the corporate hospitals don’t care just as long as they are paid.

This should be categorized as a symptom of being poor. The company I worked for closed last Nov. 7 and moved its production to Mexico. The majority of workers there were African American and also my friends. Some had been there as long as 37 years and now have no job or medical coverage. It was this that brought me to the conclusion I came to because it happened to all of us. We are moving on and will survive this but it won’t come with out a cost.

TonyMillington TN

Author’s note: You make a good point about working class and poor people of all races having the same interests. And your own experience of going through the plant closing – affecting Black and white workers is a good example of the point.

Because of racism there have to be special steps to guarantee jobs for all. There was a recent study that showed white men with prison records are more likely to get a job than Black men without prison records. Special steps strengthen the unity of the working class.