Letters to the Editor

Readers write about US automakers, who bails out the government when it overspends, corporate liability, and letting Iraqis decide how to use the US Embassy in Iraq.

US automakers should fail or succeed on their merits

Regarding the Nov. 3 article, "Are automakers also too big to fail?": While I feel compassion toward the autoworkers, I have no sympathy for the corporate leaders of US automakers.

For years, they have tricked Americans into buying gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs in order to avoid air-quality standards for smaller cars. Now they deserve to fail just as should any other business whose leaders have continued to make poor product decisions. If US automakers refuse to produce low-priced, fuel-efficient cars, then they should be forced out of business by foreign competitors who are getting the job done.

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Anthony Miller
Des Plaines, Ill.

Taxpayers bail out the government

Regarding the Nov. 5 Opinion piece, "Who bails out the federal government?": We all do, as taxpayers. The $10 trillion national debt represents $33,000 that every man, woman, and child in this country owes on top of their regular taxes. That doesn't include the debts that our state and local governments have run up, or the debts that we owe personally.

Daniel Schein
San Jose, Calif.

Corporations should be liable

In regard to the Nov. 3 article, "Supreme Court takes up drug warning labels": The Supreme Court's trend of immunizing corporations from liability when they have complied with federal regulatory requirements is alarming, to say the least. Especially in light of the current economic meltdown in the financial sector. That industry also had federal regulation, but look what happened when the regulators were replaced with free-market ideologues more concerned with profit than consumer protection. Wouldn't the same defects exist in these other regulated areas?

Why should a corporation be exempt from a lawsuit simply because it complied with watered-down federal standards? If a company markets a product that it knows may be harmful, why should it be immune from punitive damages?

Whit Selert
Reno, Nev.

Let Iraqis decide use of embassy

In regard to the Nov. 4 Opinion piece, "A bold step for US goodwill in Iraq": While I agree that the US Embassy should be turned over to the Iraqi government, I disagree that we should impose our will on the people by turning the facility into a university.

Our help should be available, but it should be quietly rendered, as a friend would quietly help out another. Author Adil E. Shamoo advances the position that we need to reconcile with Iraq. Yet the Iraqi people, left to their own devices, are perfectly capable of reconciling themselves into their own systems. They need to build their own infrastructure.

US policy should turn to diplomatic support. We should provide the type of aid that enables the Iraqi government to govern and not the type of aid that can be perceived as oppressive or controlling.

Milton Bulloch
Richardson, Texas

Don't charge what you can't pay

Regarding the Nov. 3 column, "The 'Catch 22' of consumer credit": This commentary does not mention the most obvious method of dealing with this issue: Make sure that you have the money before you charge the card. I have been using my credit card for years. But I always make sure that I have money to pay the next bill before I charge it.

Wai L. Chui
Dallas

The Monitor welcomes your letters andopinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.CSMonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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