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Investing in U.S.

June 24, 1988

Charles Wolf Jr.'s treatise (Op-Ed Page, June 17) titled "A Vote of Confidence in Los Angeles," and artlessly subtitled "Real-Estate Purchases by Japanese Show Their Faith in U.S.," confirms my worst fears that the always fatal affliction of "terminal naivete" has now infected the highest authorities of American economic theory.

Wolf opines that Japanese holdings are only about 1.6% of our current national tangible assets of $15 trillion, and presumably, therefore, relatively insignificant. What he fails to appreciate is the fact that Japan's known holdings in prime urban commercial properties give Japan potentially enormous economic and political power in and over the communities involved whenever and for whatever purpose Japanese authorities choose to exploit same. In short, Los Angeles and many other American cities within the next decade will have mortgaged their political and social freedom and their children's heritage for a few pieces of foreign silver and blanket foreign credit with which to satiate their current unbridled craving for unearned and undeserved material and emotional pleasures.

Since we now are rapidly and without compensation forfeiting control of major sections of our urban areas to the cretinous savages who derive their nerve from drugs and darkness, it is, perhaps, just as well that we get what we can from these undesirable properties and hope that the new owners will have the courage and character to put down the rebellion that we no longer have the will or intellectual honesty to face.

Upon further reflection, Wolf may be right for the wrong reasons when he suggests that both parties may benefit from Japanese investment in America. Certainly, we can only benefit from an imposition of Japanese self-discipline, social and community values and work ethic, while the Japanese can only benefit from their direct access to and control over a large, socially fragmented, morally and politically bankrupt labor pool.

ROBERT S. COUGHLIN

Rancho Palos Verdes

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