After I read Randy Haspel's Rant (December 11th issue), I immediately got on my computer to look for the movie he recommended: Who Killed the Electric Car?. Everyone — especially conservatives who think George Bush can do no wrong — needs to watch this. First, I was shocked and amazed that I had never even heard of the EV1. But then, it was sort of GM's big joke, wasn't it? Second, to learn that the technology for a very good electric car has been out there for some time and we're not allowed to have it is ludicrous.
I have been a bike commuter for about eight months, and watching this documentary confirms that I have been doing the right thing. I am planning on getting a car for necessary car trips, but I can guarantee it won't be a GM product. There is too much in the documentary to go into in this letter, so please, everyone, get it and watch it! Tell your friends and neighbors. We really could start a revolution if we wanted to.
And, oh yeah, Bush is a freakin' idiot.
The Economy, Explained
I think that most people understand what is happening with our economy ("13 Upsides to the Downturn," December 11th issue). You can conduct a complex analysis of the complicated market system, but the simple version is that tokens (money) are exchanged for wanted goods and services. Since we no longer support the gold standard, our tokens will be worthless in the United States and the world economy if valuable goods and services can't back them up.
Big government has created a massive and expensive bureaucracy, which private companies and taxpayers must support. You need government, but government can't and shouldn't be expected to do everything.
Wall Street has put too many tokens in the hands of too few individuals. These individuals have sold their tokens to other individuals who aren't producing goods and services in exchange — a bad investment.
Wall Street and the average investor have liquidated too many producers (companies) through mergers and other schemes to gain quick profits, without any regard to the effects on production of goods and services. These schemes have undermined the free market by determining the fates of companies solely on their ability to make a fast profit for stockholders.
We need to refocus on the basics. First, the government has no choice but to inject tokens back into workers' pockets to avoid freezing the financial system. Second, we should again focus on producing valuable goods and services. Third, we cannot continue to act as if tokens without accompanying salable goods and services will somehow increase in value. If "money" determined a country's wealth, any country could become extraordinarily wealthy by just printing more of it.
The Flyer isn't a rag
Contrary to what James Smith wrote (Letters, November 27th issue), the Flyer is right on point. Though Barack Obama may not have been the best choice, he was the only choice compared to John McCain. McCain would have completed the demise of the country that George Bush started. And Sarah Palin was a joke, qualified only for a job on Saturday Night Live. She raised excitement among conservatives for a while, until most finally opened their eyes and saw the truth. The rest decided to remain blind, a common trait for many conservatives.
Smith mentioned that the Flyer tried to "piss on [his] head and tell [him] it's raining." Well, he should be used to it if he believed Reagan when he said he knew nothing about the Iran/Contra mess or Bush when he said Saddam was in on the 9/11 tragedy or that there were weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq.
All I have to say is, liberals know the difference between piss and rain.
Tigers to St. Pete
I enjoyed Frank Murtaugh's column on the football Tigers (Sports, December 11th issue). Tommy West runs a good program with limited means at the U of M, and his teams are a big step up from those coached by his predecessors. That said, even I, a Tiger fan from way back, have trouble working up much enthusiasm for a bowl game for this year's 6-6 squad, especially considering one of the victories was over a non-Division I team, Nicholls State.
Sometimes, it's better to "wait 'til next year."