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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 26, 2009 at 5:14 PM

The economy

Capital going on strike

President Obama’s Feb. 24 speech reveals he plans to harm the economy in numerous ways: tax increases backed by envious soak-the-productive rhetoric, increased regulations, direct and indirect politicization of lending practices by banks (the main cause of our current economic troubles), hundreds of billions of dollars more in corporate welfare and pork, boondoggles into uneconomic-energy methods and, perhaps worst of all, socialist health care.

I am selling a significant portion of my remaining stock-market holdings today, as it’s clearer than ever Obama and the Democrats will continue to knife the economy in the back. My capital is “going on strike.”

With the stock market down by about 23 percent since our empty suit of a president was elected, it’s clear that my capital isn’t alone.

As author Ayn Rand commented about times such as this in which government tyranny increases, “Be as un-reassured as you have the wits to be.”

— Mark Kalinowski, New York, N.Y.

Meeting the true enemy

Let me see if I’ve got this right. The national economy is experiencing the most severe crisis since the Great Depression, and there is a chance, hopefully small but greater than zero, that the present “Great Recession” could degenerate into “Great Depression Part 2.”

Locally, Boeing is laying off; Microsoft is laying off. Washington Mutual has just imploded past its own event horizon. Families’ homes are being foreclosed at record rates. People are increasingly having to make the choice between food, rent and health care. All this and the “Great Recession” is only officially a little over a year old.

But, hey, Ken Griffey Jr. is back in Seattle; KOMO-TV reports Griffey jerseys are selling in the Mariner team shop for — I swear the following number is not a typo — $230 a pop. Furthermore, the team shop is having trouble keeping them on the shelf because the demand is so intense.

Of course, I, along with everyone else, welcome Griffey back home. But, this is not about him; it is about the choices we make. In particular, it is about the bad choices we make and the bad choices we continue to make, despite desperate circumstances.

Over the past decade, we have, collectively, made bad choices financially. It seems we are still making bad choices. Maybe, just maybe, in the last analysis, Pogo was right: “We have met the enemy and they are us.”

Maybe we get precisely the economy we deserve.

— James Cowles, Kent

Suppressed, skewed and spun for 8 years

The stock market is dropping like a rock. Banks are collapsing. People are being laid of left and right. The economy is either tanking or it has already tanked. We may not be in a recession, but instead a deep depression.

What’s happening?

We’re starting to hear the truth, the truth that has been suppressed, skewed and turned upside down for the past eight years. That’s what’s happening.

The truth hurts. Once we start to understand the pure fantasy world that was spun during the last eight years, we’ll figure out how to deal with reality. We’ll stop the denial, put confusion behind us and face the facts.

Strong, honest, calm, intelligent leadership will help. At least we have that piece in place.

— Bruce Barnbaum, Granite Falls

Doom and gloom inundation

The day-trading, quick-fix mentality was a contributing factor to the current economic downturn. Why then is the lion’s share of the media coverage using the same minute-by-minute approach to cover the efforts to turn this ship around?

The constant doom and gloom inundation of the severity of the crisis is contributing to a fiscal psychology that ends up prolonging this very crisis.

For example, having “a review of the president’s first 21 days” presents an impatient and myopic perspective. Instead, there should be some journalistic responsibility to giving the public a greater perspective on the issues. How long have previous recessions lasted? What were the first signs of recovery? How is the recession the same or different?

I am a firm believer that slow change represents lasting change, but we need the day-trading news cycle to include this perspective. Currently, there is more than $4 trillion resting in money-market accounts across our nation. This is a record high.

My concern is until our media stops peddling fear (as it was trained to do during the former President Bush years), people’s courage to reinvest will stay frozen along with our economy.

— Erik Wood, Queen Anne

Comments | More in Recession


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