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Our readers sound off on what's grinding their gears

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Simple economics

I read with interest Jack Lessenberry's article, "Obama's trouble" (MT; October 20). I totally agree with him that Obama and his administration should have done a much better job of educating the public about the health care plan before the Republicans brainwashed a lot of people into believing that "Obamacare" is a big government takeover, will balloon the budget deficit, and increase the national debt. Now even his fellow Democrats are distancing themselves in order to win the 2010 election. Obama also has not done a good job, so far, in selling to the public the other accomplishments that he has achieved in a short period of time, such as the regulatory reform bill, the recovery and reinvestment act, the cash-for-clunker program and saving the economy from completely collapsing through bailouts of automobile and finance industries. But he made a strategic mistake. He did not focus on the economy like a laser beam. He forgot the famous slogan, "It's the economy, stupid!" He got too distracted by his health care program. And the result is that people are hopping mad because the unemployment rate is unacceptably high. This will cause him to lose his majority in the House, if not both the House and the Senate. His stimulus package was just not large enough. A $787 billion stimulus in a $15 trillion economy is like a drop in a bucket! —Pradeep Srivastava, Detroit


A flawed paradigm

Sometimes I get the impression that Jack Lessenberry thinks progressivism isn't much more than a gay-rights inclination, a sympathetic disposition toward the poor, and a predilection for naughty words, because on economic matters he thinks like a dinosaur ("Shaming our state," Oct. 6)

I've beaten this drum before, but exactly which jobs are young people not being educated for? Even Lessenberry concedes, sort of, that the public sector gravy train ride is just about over. (Is there anyone in college who doesn't want to be a teacher one day?)

Should they be hitching their wagon to a business degree? And, if so, do what with it? Invent the next financial chimera to kid everybody into believing, again, that moving money around is a plausible basis for an economy?

Even the much-ballyhooed medical field will be hard-pressed to get its private sector footing as long as easily half its "customers" are either Medicare patients or emergency room write-offs.

This country's outsized living standard during the past century — probably a historical blip — was based on outproducing and outconsuming everybody else on a stage we had pretty much to ourselves. It came to be regarded as "normality" through the promotion of those who disproportionately benefited from its inherent inequality. In a world whose resources are finite, this insane growth-in-prosperity paradigm may not even be feasible for long. —Todd Steven Kindred, Livonia


Erratum:
In our Oct. 6 letters section, we mistakenly attributed one letter, "Gimmie that old-time Libertarianism," to the wrong reader. It should have been attributed to Dan Keizer of Eastpointe.

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