American decadence

To the Editor:

OK, so let's see, we're spending $37 million dollars to inaugurate someone who's already President in the first place, and who's primary accomplishments during his tenure are 1) keeping Bush from being President; and 2) keeping Dole from being President.

It should also be noted that this dude's term has been characterized by statements and policies to the effect that there's not adequate money for 1) feeding starving children, 2) cleaning up toxic environmental disaster sites 3) providing aid to Vietnam Veterans living under the bridge, or 4) government subsidation of my novel.

I humbly submit that the $37 million might be more beneficially (albeit less appropriately in an aesthetic sense) used for the following:

I figure that with $37 million, buying in bulk, you could get a whole lot of whole wheat bread and peanut butter. In fact, I think it's safe to say that you could pump out 20 sandwiches for every dollar, which leaves an equation like this:

37 million dollars x 20 sandwiches = 740 million sandwiches. 740 million sandwiches divided by 240 million Americans = 3 sandwiches each (with a million bucks leftover to provide transportation, etc.)

Now there are lots of folks who wouldn't want their sandwiches, and many who would be desperate for them, so we begin to see the cause of the problem along with an obvious solution. Give the sandwiches to those that need 'em, and stop providing corporate welfare and phony parades signifying mythological success for the benefit of those what don't need the sandwiches and want to feel good about it. I think we could easily feed every hungry child in this country for at least a week with $37 million.

There will, of course, be those who would suggest that $1 million isn't nearly enough for the transporation of said sandwiches along with the necessary paperwork, etc., and for that reason alone the above scheme makes no sense at all and therefore $37 million isn't nearly enough to do anything useful with, so it makes good sense to have a party and spread good cheer amongst those able to access it. I don't think this line of thinking deserves anything more than a fist to the face. Give me the $37 million, I'll show you how to feed some homeless people with it. My hon can make some lasagna!

ALTERNATELY I would suggest that $37 million is a large enough amount to allow us to tender an Ed McMahon-level sweepstakes award to each of the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin. God knows that they've earned it more than Clinton, plus I think they'd have a better idea of how to throw a tasteful and elegant party that's actually fun rather than another photo op for opportunists.

Now I'm thinkin' about homebrew materials, and $37 million, and if the goal REALLY is to have a big party and spread good cheer....and who knows what photo ops might develop!

Peace and teleological agitation,
Clayton Trapp
e-mail claytont@fidalgo.net
(no street address listed)

Inheritance reform

To the Editor:

Whether it's welfare for the poor, or inheritance for the rich, whoever gets something for nothing gets it at the expense of someone else.

There is no good reason why the children of wealthy parents should receive an unearned inheritance. It gives to those children an undeserved advantage. It is one of the most unjust and unfair aspects of our society.

The institution of inheritance has not always existed or has existed in a greatly modified form, so that land, for instance, reverted back to community ownership every few years.

Help create a level playing field for all children. Abolish wealth inheritance.

John Cassella
1401 E. 3rd Ave. Apt 305
Durango, CO 81301-5237

Boeing ignores pensioners

To the Editor:

Amid the December 8 festivities of the 737-700 rollout in Renton, Washington, many former Boeing employees who designed and built the prototypes of the new airplane are hopping mad.

Despite warnings and entreaties from retiree organizations Boeing continues to ignore the financial difficulties faced by its pensioners who have not had a "raise" since a modest increase in 1990 for workers who had retired before 1986. Some pensioners with over 30 years of service are drawing as little as $200 a month. Protection of retiree incomes and medical benefits was an issue for striking Machinists last year and is still a great concern to current workers who hope to have a decent retirement one day.

The lack of pension increases is forcing some of the retirees who accepted the company's 1995 early retirement to try to return to work. The company will not take these well-trained workers back except in special cases although Boeing is frantically seeking new employees throughout the US and other countries.

One Boeing stockholder has filed papers to put Boeing's refusal to hire retirees before the 1997 Boeing stockholders meeting. He argues that the company is shortsightedly and expensively rejecting offers from skilled workers who to want return to work to supplement their pensions and help with the new big orders.

Henry Noble
Boeing Retirees on the Line
1903 NE 82nd Street
Seattle, WA 98115

Finding new groups, links

To the Editor:

I felt compelled to write you a note about your publication. I have been reading The Progressive Populist since June and it has become my favorite read. I have a job that allows for quite a bit of reading time and I cover many many leftist publications. I like the way you provide links (internet and snail mail) to the people who write for you and the organizations they belong to.

Your sources are turning me on to many new groups of great interest to me such as Jane Morris and Democracy Unlimited of Wis. I found the Nader nomination speech so fantastic I ordered 50 copies to pass out to friends and people I bump into on AOL. You people are doing a great job. You send out each copy at the end of the month which always has me afraid I missed an issue (I do not want that happening).

Gary S. Nater
(no street address listed)

Editor's Note: Thanks for the encouragement. We are working on getting the issue out earlier in the month.


To The Editor

I am writing to renew my subscription to the Progressive Populist. I've found it very well written and edited and always enlightening. Keep up the good work!

Mike Beards
Rochester, Minnesota

Better than Clinton

To The Editor:

As the inauguration of William Jefferson Clinton looms near, with new scandals erupting weekly; a national security team established with no member having served in the armed forces; the renting of the Lincoln bedroom for $100,000 by wealthy donors; the Administration support to overturn California Proposition 209; and a cabinet appointed "by chaos and affirmative action" according to Daniel Schorr. Of course I left out the big money donated to the DNC by the Asian connection. It's so difficult to remember them all. And we haven't even touched on Whitewater and all the first administration scandals being investigated by Kenneth Starr.

Bob Dole was boring and could not articulate a vision for America, but was head and shoulders above Bill Clinton.

Vic Massara
Omaha, Nebraska

Reflections on Crowther

To The Editor:

Thank you so much for publishing your fine paper. After reading the article by Hal Crowther and thinking about his idea of a society based upon survival of the fittest, it struck me as being odd that so many conservatives behave in survival of the fittest for our society while wanting to teach creationism in our public schools, either outright or through the support of private voucher systems.

Craig Kauppt
St. Paul, Minnesota

Reform banking

To the Editor:

In your cover story about the Alliance Convention you quoted from Larry Goodwin's speech, "In every case the Populists said 'no thank you; we're going to reform the banking system in this century or nothing else will work." I think that is still true today.

How do today's Populists propose to reform our banking system?

To stimulate some thinking and discussion I'd like to suggest the following-as a follow up from Irving Fisher's "100 PERCENT MONEY."

Our big money problem is that the private banks create more than ninety percent of our money supply. This is a great injustice and the Federal Reserve cannot control the money supply, only influence it.

Solution - stop the private banks from creating any check money or bank card money and have the Federal Reserve create all needed additions to our money supply.

Steps: 1. Create privately owned, FDIC-insured Transfer Banks for all checking accounts and debit bank card accounts. All deposits into Transfer Banks would have to be redeposited into Federal Reserve Banks the day of their receipt. Transfer Banks could not make loans nor invest in other than their own facilities. They would exist on their service charges.

2. Limit the types of loans and investments of all federally insured savings institutions to loans and investments that are socially desirable. Federally insured banks, S&Ls and credit unions could not accept deposits withdrawable in less than thirty days. Federally insured savings institutions could own Transfer Banks. They would have to keep their own transferrable funds in Transfer Banks.

3. The Federal Reserve System's Federal Open Market Committee should determine when, where and how much new money the Regional Federal Reserve Banks should create. The Federal Reserve Banks should continue to pay their profits to the U.S. Treasury.

Jim Cassels
22 Ridge Road #324
Greenbelt, Md. 20770

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