Re Jesse Jackson's "Who Calls the Powerful to Account?" Column Left, Aug. 17:
Clearly, some companies have sought large and fast profits at the expense of consumers, and some entertainers and a handful of corporate executives have earned startling salaries. But to indict corporate America--and the 14,000 members of the National Assn. of Manufacturers specifically--for not caring about employees and customers is an unfair and unduly sweeping accusation.
Jackson's call to "limit profit-seeking on the basis of decency" implies that to pursue growth is to pursue greed. He is wrong: Without growth, there will be no new jobs, no higher standard of living for the middle class, no opportunity for the poor. Should government leaders remind us that there is more to life than buying and selling? Of course. But profit, success and growth are not ethical obscenities. They are the fulcrum of the American dream.
The NAM opposes unchecked, mercenary greed; in a recent debate with former California Gov. Jerry Brown, NAM President Jerry Jasinowski called growth without any restraint a "cancer." So perhaps instead of lobbing rhetorical grenades at anyone who believes in a vibrant economy, Jackson should refrain from the stereotyping he otherwise opposes and try to find common ground for the good of all.
PAUL R. HUARD
Senior Vice President, NAM