Tittabawassee River Watch Editorial          Back to editorial page  

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Ward J. Hodge 4/28/05

To the Editor, The Review

In trying to get out from under their Dioxin contamination cloud controversy, Dow Chemical continues their inappropriate relationships with government officials at all levels.

In their most recent meeting in Midland it was revealed in a newspaper report that the private meetings place was paid for with corporate money.  If this is true, Dow's critics have every right to continue to question their corporate motives.

Comparative Economic Systems Analysis, a course I took in graduate school after World War II has helped me to  better understand what kind of a slippery slope America's political economy is on today.  Knowing about the history of Communism & Capitalism and Fascism helps to know where to place present day corporate Democracy on the political spectrum.

Modern Fascism got started in Italy and Germany after World War I when government officials became too friendly with commercial interests  The financial opportunities where to tempting.  The people were promised jobs and security and peace.  They were not told how profitable another war would be for munitions manufactures.

If we fast-forward fifty years, we can find some interesting parallel elements on history to start the 21st century.  In November, 2004 about half of those USA citizens who voted, elected an administration promising to lower taxes for wealthy people, more jobs, a growing economy, and security from terrorist groups. 

They were also promised a successful conclusion to a pre-emptive war being fought in Iraq, to bring corporate Democracy, and God, to the Middle East.

I bring this up because Democracy is not doing so well here at home.  People in the Saginaw Valley have much to worry about besides the National debt, Social Security Reform, and global 'Free' Trade.

It is not just the Dioxin Contamination in their soil; air and water that keeps Tittabawassee River citizens awake at nights.  It's the difficulty in dealing with a government and a corporation who have too many common goals.  Rampant confusion reigns in meetings where a government regulator and a corporate polluter work "in concert' to side-step needed reforms in Michigan government.

For two decades and more a number of people have been active in the Saginaw Valley trying to promote a more sustainable health future.  I will mention three.  During their time in the trenches, I believe Terry Miller of Bay City, Diane Hebert Midland; and Michelle Hurd-Riddick, Saginaw; have been incredibly kind to commercial interests who would do damage to their ecology and destroy their representative government.

Multinational corporate policy makers would like their critics to believe that what they do is part of the natural order in what is known as American Capitalism - and is not to be questioned by anyone.

The ideological phenomenon has allowed the political pendulum in America to swing far to the right.

We are gong to have to move to the left just to get back to the middle of the political spectrum if we want to solve some of our problems

Is this so hard to understand?

Ward J. Hodge
Midland Michigan

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