Letters to the Editor

Readers write about how the financial crisis will affect the next president, businesses providing customer service over the phone as well as online, rescuing our healthcare system from crisis, and sparing home buyers blame for the market's troubles.

Financial crisis will dominate next presidency

Regarding the Oct. 9 article, "America as superpower: shaken, not deposed:" This article's thesis is confirmed in several contemporary books relating to America's decline.

In the meantime, both presidential candidates are each blaming the other's political party and President Bush for the current financial crisis without leveling with the American people. We are headed for hard times requiring sacrifices by individuals, families, businesses, and the government. Whoever is elected president will be consumed by this crisis once in office and will have to forgo many of his campaign promises.

Let's hear some straight talk about this. The American people can respond when challenged. We have risen to the occasion in the past.

Jay Mennenga
Roberts, Mont.

Alternatives to Internet necessary

In response to the Oct. 6 editorial, "Candidates click on broadband": I would like to mention that the editorial misses an important point. Many of my older friends and relatives cannot pay for any type of Internet service and may not even have a computer. Buying a computer and learning how to use it isn't all that simple for some folks, especially when they are on a tight budget. Many of the older people that I know get most of their information via the radio or television.

The fact that many US companies have poor customer service over the phone and expect everyone to communicate via a website is increasingly becoming a problem. While it is great to improve high-speed Internet services to rural areas, it is important to consider that alternative avenues for conducting business still need to be available. This is particularly true in areas that often experience power cuts but may still have phone service.

Margarette Bull
Kirkland, Wash.

Healthcare system needs rescue, too

Regarding the Oct. 9 editorial, "Americans turn to Uncle Sam": Another "rescue" by Uncle Sam is long overdue for America's healthcare system. Perhaps fixing the system and removing it from the realm of profiteering could be couched in terms of being a top "national security" priority so that politicians on all sides would see its importance.

If Uncle Sam can rescue greedy capitalists from themselves, it can tax those individuals and their businesses to the limit of their ability to pay for a national healthcare system for all US citizens. Nothing short of such drastic federal action can bring to heel individuals who see themselves as living in isolation from the rest of humanity and whose sole pursuit is material enrichment. Given the opportunity to "make a deal," they will always minimize their responsibilities to their fellow citizens.

Alan Hull
Conyers, Ga.

Home buyers not to blame

In regard to the Oct. 8 editorial, "First, foreclose on market fears": I was very disappointed that the Monitor ascribed the source of our current financial market turmoil to government efforts to encourage homeownership. Devising programs to encourage and enable wider homeownership is a worthy societal goal and such programs were not the root of the problem.

It was unscrupulous mortgage brokers who inveigled unsophisticated borrowers with dishonest loans and who then resold them as derivatives to others who should have been aware of the dangers.

Jackson Turnacliff

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion 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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