Letters and comments for February 10, 2012

By Observer Upload February 10, 2012 04:45 pm
Letters and comments for February 10, 2012

Right call on pipeline

To the Editor:

The Observer’s Jan. 19 guest editorial from the Chicago Tribune, “Obama blocks pipeline project, costs U.S. jobs,” exemplifies mindless support of the capitalistic hype that created our current economic crisis and the dangerous disparity in American incomes. The column’s support of the project is based entirely on jobs. Corporations have manipulated public opinion for decades by dangling job offers.

However, those jobs frequently end up harming communities and the environment far beyond the benefits of wages earned. Large corporations use labor to generate massive profits for stockholders and CEOs. Workers enable the very rich to become richer with little regard for community or environmental healh. Once profits have been made, corporations abandon workers and the environment.

Supporting projects that result in money and resources leaving communities and ending up in billionaire accounts around the world makes no sense. Stanching the flow of money from the middle class to the top 1 percent requires some rethinking.

Walmart was supported by our commissioners because of jobs. No analysis was done on the long-term effect of Walmarts across the country on the overall health of communities. We got Walmart and lost much of our diverse, family-owned business district. The business tactics used by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are predicated on abusing working people around the world to make the Waltons America’s richest family. Every Walmart shopper sends local dollars out-of-state rather than allowing them to remain in circulation here.

Every month, families around the country pay ever higher percents of their wages to centralized corporations via America’s centralized energy, communication and banking systems. We must learn to support projects that protect the long-term viability of our communities.

Had we put checks on the timber industry rather than being blinded by short-term greed for local taxes and jobs, we could have developed a sustainable timber industry and a healthier forest. Now we are reduced to groveling for federal timber “compensation.” Let’s begin to support projects that keep money in our valley, rather than multinational centralized projects that continue extracting money to overseas accounts.

Obama rightfully refused to approve the transnational pipeline before assessing environmental damage and ultimate financial outcomes. The public’s mindless support of every corporate job offer has destroyed the middle class and created the 1 percent currently controlling our economy and democracy.

Mary McCracken

Union County