While reading Zuckerman's commentary "Quick Action on the Economy" [December 1-8], I became quite disturbed. His advice is to extend more credit/tax money to companies that have mismanaged assets and have allowed unions to overload their expense costs. Where will this end? Our children and grandchildren will be overloaded with the spending our government is doing today. Credit/extending credit is the problem. There is always a payday. We really can't forgive credit. Someone has to pay. It is either by higher prices or higher taxes. I feel for those who have lost employment. Government regulation is not the answer. Government regulation has caused much of the credit problem. It has required mortgage companies to loan to people who did not have the resources to make their payment and some who never intended to pay. I retired from a state job that administered federal programs, and I saw the lack of responsibility that these programs caused. Many now want a handout. Somebody has to pay.
Arlon Ragsdale, Alba, TX
After reading the many steps Zuckerman proposed to turn the economy of this country around—and the proposals of other noted economists—I have yet to read anyone who proposes that Americans go back to work. It seems that the proposals are a search for the financial schemes to return America to its wanton lifestyle so we can continue to be a shame in the eyes of the world. Where else can a person live so well and produce so little as in America. The idea that we can change from a manufacturing economy to a service economy and continue to prosper is absolute nonsense. It is a death sentence to any nation—that is, unless it has unlimited resources, or has not squandered these resources as we have so shamefully done and continue to do. Until we become a nation that manufactures to meet its own needs with a surplus to trade in the world's economy, we are dead in the water. We have no base from which our economy can recover. The recent downturn is merely the results of the wanton/do-nothing/wasteful lifestyle we have created. Until we find the leaders that realize manufacturing is essential to the strength and prosperity of this nation, we will soon be speaking of the great nation we used to be. Financial scheming cannot save America, but it can make a few fabulously wealthy.
Carl E. Becker, Rixeyville, VA
What about accountability? This mess was created by sitting members of Congress, speculators, mortgage brokers, consumers, lawyers, rating agencies, and securities firms. This is the greatest fraud ever perpetrated. There are people who bought homes that they couldn't afford. Are they to get a free ride on the taxpayer?
Comment by Patrick Collins of NY
Zuckerman's column on the current financial crisis explains the need and present cost of government intervention but fails to consider its untoward ramifications, even if a major depression is thereby averted. Such unprecedented federal deficit spending will sequentially usher in rampant inflation, massive devaluation of the dollar, international loss of confidence in the U.S. currency, and its eventual abandonment as a world reserve currency. Ultimately, Americans will pay with higher taxes and a greatly diminished standard of living for decades.
Raj U. Dugel, M.D., Torrance, CA