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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 6, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Economic recovery in ’09

Maximize stability, not profits

The likes of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Obama people are now saying that the economy will begin to grow in the latter part of 2009 [“Bernanke: Economy should grow again later in 2009,” seattletimes.com, Business & Technology, May 5].

Isn’t that what got us into this mess in the first place — growth? How about we just let corporations achieve an economy of thrift, profitability, paying dividends and simply stabilizing themselves for the next hundred years?

We citizens are finally saving some money, like the Chinese, the Japanese and the Europeans have done for centuries. Now our government and the stock market people want us to go out and spend those savings voraciously in order to boost the economy.

The concept that we must always spend money to bolster corporate profits and see the market indexes rising in order to feel good about ourselves is illogical and wrongheaded. The purveyors of greed are now espousing that we do exactly the same thing we’ve been doing religiously since the 1920s by purchasing things we don’t really need on credit and spending like there was no tomorrow.

So here’s a modest proposal: Let’s spend on the things we need and save our money for a rainy day so that corporations will have reasonable and stable profits. The concept of “maximizing profits” has been the capitalistic motto for the better part of the industrial revolution. Perhaps now, the new corporate motto should be to “maximize stability” so we might all have more time in the future to smell the roses rather than losing sleep over our 401(k)s!

— Jerry Taylor, Elma

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