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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 22, 2009 at 5:20 PM

Corporate bailouts

Let them fail

I am writing in response to your article regarding the additional bailout money General Motors is requesting from us, the taxpayers [“Auto-bailout tab jumps to $39 billion,” Times, News, Feb. 18].

My question is: Does this ever end?

These constant, frequent bailouts are a never-ending trend that is becoming all too familiar with private companies. These companies will never learn from their mistakes if we never let them feel the consequences of bad choices.

I strongly feel these companies should be allowed to fail just as much as they are to succeed. If they succeed, will I see a rebate in my taxes? Probably not. These companies should be allowed to fail to allow other entrepreneurs the opportunity to create the next big idea just as was created a little over 100 years ago.

The automakers are just one example of what can happen when management gets caught up in decisions that only benefit themselves. Until they are allowed to fail, nothing will change. The government needs to stop saving these large entities at our expense.

— Jordan Philipson, Seattle

Business as usual

The U.S. Department of the Treasury reported today that, for the next two years, our economy will shrink. This means all the students graduating over the next 24 months will have few, if any, job prospects. This means millions more Americans will be out of work for a number of years.

Such unemployment equates to a large number of people anxious about the inequality they see every day, especially when they hear about CEOs making millions more.

Inequality in a society is not seen on such a scale anywhere but here. There is a danger in allowing this to happen and I don’t think anyone in our country is prepared for dealing with the consequences.

We are a nation that, over the last 12 years, has lost its purpose and meaning. We are, for the first time, seeing other nations making progress in health care, employment, the environment and, most important, their ability to invest in their own citizens for a better long-term future.

It has become clear to me that our government and its institutions cannot change, even in the face of a bankrupt country and a falling standard of living — for us, not them.

But, the soulless corporations will do whatever it takes to keep the status quo alive. They will not change. Rather than taking the initiative to equip their factories to make products people actually want and create wealth for investors it’s business as usual.

So for now, the demise or decline has begun. It’s like a drug addict: They won’t change until they’ve hit bottom. Unfortunately for us, our government and its institutions have not seen the bottom yet.

— Robert Rowe, Seattle

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