Letter to the editor

Columnist’s opinions based on fading neo-con views

Dear editor,

This is in response to Matthew White’s op-ed piece in Monday’s Kent Stater. White’s provocative description of free-market capitalism as a “harmonious, aesthetically pleasing, balanced machine” is based on slowly fading neo-conservative views that keep advocating deregulation as a cure for capitalism’s inherent injustices. Grounding his praise for such deregulation in his own (politically biased) euphoria, White fails drastically in his attempting to extend his argument into the realm of transportation.

The reasons why AMTRAC and other subsidized means of public transportation are losing money are much more complex than White is willing to concede. Here in Ohio, for instance, a plan for a high-speed railroad connection between Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, has been shelved not because there is lack of public interest (according to polls, more than 75 percent of Ohioans strongly support the project) but because the car lobby, with its iron grip on both Columbus and Washington, keeps stalling.

An interesting debate on WCPN Monday morning: (http://www.wcpn.org/index.php/WCPN/soi/2007/10/01/), regarding the controversy surrounding plans to build a new interchange on I-90 at Nagel Road in Lorain County, revealed, once again, that deregulated capitalism on the local level is one of the main causes for mindless and free-wheeling suburban sprawl, which the cultural critic J. H. Kunstler has identified as the biggest threat to traditional American communities. The debate made clear that more and more Ohioans are beginning to understand that there is a direct correlation between car dependency and pollution, the building of the next Walmart and the closing of local mom-and-pop stores, the erection of yet another Mac-de-sac and teen depression.

Those (like myself) who have to drive through, let’s say, Streetsboro with open eyes would wholeheartedly disagree with White’s argument that nearly all things capitalist, including private transportation, are “more desirable” than community-oriented and subsidized alternatives. As Boochin might have responded, only after the “capitalist social cancer” has devoured everything in its wake will it be free enough to turn on itself. If nothing else, a trip to Detroit, one of the cradles of happy American capitalism, might do White a whole lot of good.

Frank Rosen

Doctoral Candidate (LRSP)

English Instructor