Letters to the Editor

Free trade?

March 12, 2008


To the editor:

Our congressional leaders are outraged! Boeing and Wichita have lost a juicy defense contract. My sources tell me that Boeing gave it away, and Northrop worked the proposal. Perhaps the real issue is why a European consortium is bidding on U.S. defense contracts!

What is the buzzword? Free trade? As I recall, this was a bipartisan solution to our aspiration to work with the international environment. Thousands of good high-paying blue-collar jobs have been sent overseas and the jobholders essentially forgotten. Now it is our turn. Now we complain! Are we serious?

If we are, it is time to rethink the notion of free trade. As a large, diverse and powerful country, are there not some things that for our own survival should be designed and built here? Should our skilled workers be forced into continual competition with workers in the Third World?

I would be much more receptive to this outcry if our congressional leadership advocated for an industrial policy that protects our country by ensuring we can acquire domestically all that we need for our survival. I do not mean that we walk away from free trade, but I do mean that we manage it to our interests (as our international competitors do).

We are doing a very poor job of understanding history. Perhaps we should reflect on the late 1930s, when "Lend Lease" bought us the lead time to be successful in World War II. How does that old quote go? "Those who fail to learn from history are bound to repeat it"? Shall we?

George Lippencott,


Richard Heckler 10 years, 1 month ago

Things need to change dramatically like why do voters send the same incumbents back year after year regardless of party affiliation?

Why is it Americans cannot elect a representative instead of a name from corporate america? What is the romance? Why do americans fall over themselves for political media stars and fat cats? Have we not learned that these people NEVER make things better they just continue the corporate welfare and watch american jobs go abroad. It really stinks!

The news media and corporate america do NOT need to decide who OUR candidates should be for local,state or federal level representation.

The media takes in a ton of cash during our election periods and play a huge role in selecting candidates for all sides of the aisle. Then THEY decide who should participate in televised debates as if no one else matters to the voters. Yes they also seem to decide which issues are important to voters and many times miss the mark. The media has become a large part of the special interest takeover of our process as if they know what is best for all of us. Voters support this takeover by voting for those candidates who also spend the most money and the question is why?

Campaigns go too long,spend way too much money and do not necessarily provide the best available. It is up to us to stop the nonsense at the voting booths on the 2008 ballot. Not voting sends the wrong message and changes nothing.

Lets's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the 2008 ballot.

The big money candidates are more beholden than ever to corporate special interests due to the very long nature of campaigns. How do they have time to do the job they were elected to do? We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out.


Who would be against Public Funding? The special interest money providers and their bought and paid for politicians!

geekin_topekan 10 years, 1 month ago

Hey,whatever keeps the illegal Europeans in their own country,like an AMerican contract,is fine with me.Keep those Euro-bastards in their own land. Now if we could throw a few Billion dollar contracts towards Mexico,that will reach their labor force,we might keep them at home too.

Speakout 10 years, 1 month ago

The whole of the American people are fascinated by celebrities as evidenced by all the hype, media and news that follows every movement. I don't care if Brittney has marital problems or that Paris is in jail. I couldn't care less what happens on that level because it is the same old same old and who are they anyway? Are they talented or lucky enough to have gotten media attention and that made them talented. All I can say is "Enough, already".

Bruce Bertsch 10 years, 1 month ago

I hate to interupt with some facts but...

Boeing proposed the 767 airframe, 30% of which is designed and built in JAPAN, not the US.

Boeing spends 0.91% of its revenue on R&D, Airbus spends 9.5%.

As our Congressional delegation pointed out, Airbus spends exactly ZERO on employee healthcare, pensions and workmen's comp. I regard that as an indictment of our healthcare system.

In other words, Boeing was beaten by a firm that spends far more on R&D, and has lower costs. The foreign manufacturing fear is just BS.

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