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Tough times for the economy

January 21, 2008

Re "Fed chief, Bush back a stimulus," Jan. 18

The Federal Reserve's attempt at a quick fix for the economy through lowered interest rates to encourage personal borrowing will put pressure on a Treasury Department that has to offer competitive worldwide interest levels to attract money used to finance the huge -- approximately $9 trillion -- U.S. national debt.

Karl Marx, whose economic analyses are strikingly prescient and relevant today, demonstrated how the credit economy is one way that capitalism attempts to stretch out and soften the boundary where the private accumulation of profit from production runs up against the waning purchasing power of the consuming public. This is exactly what we see here, on both a domestic and international scale, where -- ironically for a country that coerces all others into free-market capitalism -- the U.S. is effectively bankrupt.

In a nation whose governing parties and increasingly wealthy corporate elite can't restrain themselves from devastating and costly imperialist wars overseas while at the same time impoverishing ever-growing numbers of the struggling and poor at home, there isn't going to be any good economic news for most people.

Eric Brill

Rancho Palos Verdes

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The government needs to invest in America. That would immediately start solving a lot of our problems. Thousands of cities already have project designs in place to improve or repair aging infrastructure. All that's needed are the funds to begin the work, and then people will be back at work, stimulating the economy.

To receive government funding, cities should be required to use local contractors and workers. Corporations that outsource should be taxed at much higher rates than those that contribute directly to the American economy by maintaining their operations within our country.

The powers that be ought to remember the old proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

Elizabeth Eyerman

Los Angeles

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