To the editor:

In the ages of scarcity people who organized others to produce a surplus became wealthy. Others sought wealth by manufacturing tools to help the producers become even more productive. We see two dynamic principles: the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few and the production of goods for the wealthy instead of the have-nots. The have-nots are thrust aside to make room for more productive enterprises. Many have-nots died of disease and famine. Others became the urban poor. Thousands of them were exported to colonies as prisoners or indentured servants. the poor of the world continue to pay a high price for society's technological sophistication.

During the ages of scarcity workers had dignity. In our age of surplus workers create markets instead of products. We employ people to validate others by telling them what they want to hear. Responsibility for underemployment is attributed to the erstwhile employee's lack of skill. Discarded employees are encouraged to create their own jobs. Companies that exist to sell franchises stand ready to serve them producing a glut of unprofitable businesses with owners pleading for tax relief! the leeches have robbed workers of their dignity!

Having institutionalized a two political parties beholden to corporate interests we should not be surprised when our government uses our power to destroy competing socio-economic models leaving capitalists in control of the only game in town. 

Any economic activity consumes resources and energy. Instead of wasting resources producing and distributing stuff for self-indulgent people we could provide free family planning services to all the world's people. We could use our power to nationalize the pharmaceutical industries and direct them to provide lifesaving medicines to those suffering from debilitating diseases. The cure for western malaise is mobilizing compassionate people with an economy based on need, not greed. We must reject governments whose leaders are only interested in playing King of the Mountain.

John E. Gibson

Owatonna

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