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Solutions to Economic Woes in American Ideals

The prescription for the United States economy in the Opinion page article "Needed: a Serious US Economic Strategy," June 4, raises two concerns. First, the authors' we-know-better-than-the-market claim that $1,000 worth of potato chips is worth less than $1,000 of computer chips recalls the arbitrary resource-allocation decisions that ultimately brought down the socialist economies. Second, their insistence that the US adopt the tools and tactics of its international competitors ignores the unique stren gths that first made the US an industrial and technological leader.

The US economy has suffered setbacks in recent years, in part due to poor government policy. However, a cursory review of US history reveals such economic setbacks have been common occurrences, in each case overcome by adherence to the American ideals of free enterprise and hard work. Now is the not the time to lose faith in these ideals. Eric J. Klieber, Cleveland Heights, Ohio "Sustainable growth"

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Regarding the editorial "The Noah Principle," May 21: The phrase "sustainable environmentalism" is worthy of the best administration spin doctors. True, the importance of balancing the needs of the environment with those of human beings (jobs, etc.) is self-evident. However, it is all too clear that the true culprit behind most of our planet's degradation and at least some of our employment woes is unrestrained and unsustainable growth.

An example is easily had in the Pacific Northwest where the short-term, profit-motivated forestry policies of many lumber companies have left mountain slopes barren and loggers out of work.

Economic growth and development are facts of life in this day and age, but we must turn our energies towards creating policies of sustainable growth. Only then will we truly strike a balance between the needs of the planet and the needs of humanity. John A. Hadden, Huntingtion, Vt.

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