2011-12-16 / Letters

Baxter Still Don’t Get It

Dear Editor,

Mr. Baxter is doing a great job of steering the conversation about Occupy Wall Street, off of the actual OWS demonstrators and their own words and into a debate about his own ideas about unions and “greedy” corporations.

Back to square one I see.

My comments these past few weeks have been in direct response to the statements and actions made by protesters here in New York. Including threats of violence against the NYPD, ordinary citizens and people working for corporations.

To paraphrase one protestor, “... we’ll see how they [America] respond when we throw a Molotov cocktail through the windows of Macy’s.” Don’t believe me?

Thank goodness for the Internet since all you have to do is check out the protestors themselves on YouTube.com.

As far as the examples of American Crystal Sugar and Cooper Tires and American Airlines are concerned, let me say this. I am not against the idea of unions; in fact I am for the idea of workers having a say in the run of a company. Just not to the extent where their demands become the sole reason for the company to exist.

We have come a long way as a nation since the infamous Robber Baron days and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Mr. Baxter. Workers have rights codified by law. It’s the reason that I, myself, organized a Residents’ Union at the Hospital where I did my Residency here in New York. If these companies you mention are acting illegally in any manner, I will join you in calling for them to be held accountable.

If what you are talking about is more like what happened with General Motors, then we are back to square one once again, because it is simply unsustainable.

If you recall, General Motors, the largest car manufacturer in the world, was going to fail in 2008. The federal government stepped in and bailed them out using taxpayer dollars borrowed from China and handed over a large percentage of the company to the unions themselves. The government, illegally, ignored the primary shareholders of the company (ordinary citizens, pensions and retirement account holders) in restructuring it during bankruptcy.

General Motors is still struggling as a “state-run” corporation and we’re still stuck holding the bill to China. Last week GM shares fell sharply when it announced a fall in profits and a weak outlook due to the problems in Europe. The same Europe we are bailing out.

The same GM which is owned by the US Treasury to the tune of 32 percent. Connecting the dots, GM can make a profit if we subsidize Europe more, so they can buy cars in order for GM to pay back the US Treasury with the same tax dollars used in a bail out of Europe. Huh!?

As our friend Shakespeare would say: “... something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

You cannot mandate profitability, Mr. Baxter. Well maybe you can if you print your own money and keep handing it out like our government is attempting to do. Problem is that’s what they did in Europe and we don’t seem to be learning from their mistakes. In fact, we’re busy printing dollars for them to use through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Sounds like a plan, let’s just avoid a crash landing by having everyone jump up at the last second.

You say you want to vote all incumbents out of office with a third party. If I’m not mistaken Mr. Baxter, you have been active with the Independence party here in New York. During my run for office last year, I was shocked to learn that the head of the Independence party had made a “deal” with the Democratic party to endorse all their candidates, the status quo candidates like Sheldon Silver. There was no discussion of who stood for what or who had the new ideas, just the typical politics leaving a smelly stain where the ideological rubber hit the road to backroom dealings. So much for the “third” party and back to square one yet again.

HAROLD PAEZ

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