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The bane of true democracy

     Although Northwest Airlines declared bankruptcy, thousands of its employees are still on strike [“Northwest and Delta file for bankruptcy,” Business & Technology, Sept. 15]. In their fight, they stand for all Americans. They're protesting their employer's long-planned scheme to eliminate more than three quarters of them; slash pay and benefits for the remainder by more than 28 percent; and eliminate their hard-earned pensions.

     In recent years, in the airline industry alone, more than 100,000 well-paying union jobs have been outsourced.

     The beautiful, democratic solution was explained by Eli Siegel, founder of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism: “Jobs should be for usefulness, not for profit.”

     The answer to the crisis in the airline industry is this: The U.S. government—the people—should take it over, instead of subsidizing these private companies with multibillion-dollar bailouts.

     We the people already own and maintain all the major airports, employ the air traffic controllers and security personnel. Let's stop using government money to prop up multimillion-dollar salaries, bail out banks, investment firms and non-working shareholders.

     This answer is in the American tradition. Our federal, state and municipal governments own or control, on behalf of the people, Amtrak, the post office, fire departments, subways, bus lines, schools, VA hospitals, utilities, highway departments and more. And there isn't one million-dollar salary in the lot. Despite efforts to weaken them and screams of “inefficiency” by some with private vested interests, these entities are generally efficient. And, most importantly, the services are provided for the good of the American people. And the management is answerable to the electorate, not to Wall Street.

Timothy Lynch  

Editor's note: The writer is president of Teamsters Local 1205.

This letter also appeared in The Record of New Jersey and, in a longer form, as an article in the Progressive Populist.

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