Commentary by Robert Kleine: Letter to Gorge Will

July 31, 2011

Dear Mr. Will,

Your column titled "America becomes Libertarian" is way off base.  I live in East Lansing, Michigan and the snow is plowed quickly, power outages are dealt with quickly by a local publically owned public utility, and the parks are maintained.  I receive my state tax refunds within two weeks, and I register my car and renew my license on line. My Social Security check is deposited in my account on time each month, my Medicare issues are dealt with quickly and politely, the mail is delivered six times a week without incident, and I have never had any problems with the IRS.

I spent half my career in the private sector and half in the public sector and public sector workers were just as dedicated and competent as private sector workers.

Almost all my unpleasant experiences have been with the private sector. Double billing by restaurants and others, being signed up and charged for services I don't want, furniture delivered weeks late, warranties not honored due to fine print, and surly, uninformed store clerks.

We had a Libertarian society at the turn of the last century. The average life expectancy was 47, the workplace death rate was 37 times the current rate, the air and water were polluted, poison drugs were sold that killed hundreds, young children worked in factories and mines, women could not vote, Jim Crow laws keep African-Americans virtually enslaved, as late as the 1950s 40% of seniors lived below the poverty line, the average wage in today's dollars was $5, 1% of the population controlled 50% of the wealth, and free enterprise did not result in more competition as businesses colluded, fixed prices, and established monopolies. The only people doing well were white, rich men.

I do not look forward to a country controlled by people like Bernie Madoff, Dennis Kozlowski, Richard Fuld,  Angelo Mozilla and companies like Enron and Worldcom, to mention only a few.

Unlike you, most Americans do not want to repeal the 20th Century.


Robert Kleine

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