Proper Austerity

To the Editor:
    Seeing that the economic collapse was caused by the questionable dealings of high finance, it is completely irrational that average citizens, be they American, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Irish, Portuguese, or Icelandic, be facing austeriy measures when none are being placed on institutions of high finance.  What would make sense, in a spirit of “shared sacrifice”, are outside regulation and oversight of the banking industry, a tax on Wall Street transactions, including especially computer trading, renewed tariffs on imported products, and tax breaks for companies bringing jobs back to America, not taking them away.  In simple words, put the penalties where they belong.
RP

Whither goest thou?

To the Editor:
Given China’s economic gains, the possibility rises that it may be following a business model superior to our current path.  Unlike here, the Chinese government has a firm oversight of its growing economy.  Compensation is regulated, profits benefit the entire nation, and corruption and mismanagement are severely punished, even to the point of death.  Here, on the other hand, corporate campaign money controls the government, with  lobbyists actually writing regulatory legislation.  CEO’s are compensated royally, profits go mainly to a small, already wealthy, elite class, and mismanagement is often rewarded with a year-end bonus. Tax breaks were even given to companies for taking their jobs and technical expertise overseas.
Further, China has generally relied on a traditional capitalist approach to gaining prosperity.  It is investing money (much of it American consumer dollars) in its manufacturing and transportation infrastructure, in education for its youth, and in peacefully securing resources for its industrial growth, while we in the West have gotten so bogged down in unending wars and occupation of oil-producing nations in the Middle East that our longstanding support for education, infrastructure, and social safety nets is now being termed, “no longer affordable”.  This seems an odd tale of two nations heading in vastly divergent directions.
RP