Nero Fiddled While Rome Burned

I recall after WW2 a number of our basic industries dallied while Europe was both rebuilding and modernizing its own and basic services such as delivery of medicine to all. At the same time the U.S. found medical services blocked by the right wing A.M.A.’s slogan decrying “socialized medicine” and such industries as steel maximized profits without updating their facilities. We Americans suddenly found our steel industry out bid by cheaper European production due to modernization there and our medical system has evolved into both the most expensive and least efficient of any developed nation.

The current recession/depression looks frighteningly like the real thing — a rerun perhaps of the crash of 1929 also based on greedy divisions of wealth and deprivation first of the poor and then increasing numbers of hard working people suddenly stranded by a failed economy. I hope such is not a repeat of times past, but the prospects look increasingly grim from all honest reports such as those below.

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More Arrows Seen Pointing to a Recession
By PETER S. GOODMAN
The American economy slowed from April to June, while numbers for the last three months of 2007 were revised downward to show a contraction.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/business/01econ.html?th&emc=th

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OP-ED COLUMNIST
Can This Planet Be Saved?
By PAUL KRUGMAN
The skirmish over drilling is the opening to a much bigger fight over environmental policy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/01/opinion/01krugman.html?th&emc=th

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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