Reader: Don’t Forget About America’s Problems
Before we worry about China, let’s worry about our own civil rights violations. I’m talking black vs. white (i.e., segregation, legalized apartheid), living conditions within our jails, the death penalty, alienated youth, gun violence, hypermaterialism, etc. I agree with most of the stuff you guys write — but regarding this China thing, you’re assuming that we are much better off than they are when we still have a long way to go.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
The article “Fuel Economy Makes For Unsafe Cars” revealed a study made by the Competitive Enterprise Institute which does not hold up under scrutiny. After following the link to ENN, I found this quote: “You can make small cars safer,” said Emily McGee, a spokeswoman for the institute. “But you can’t argue with physics — the bigger the car the safer it is.”
Unfortunately, you can’t argue with the other side of physics: The bigger the car, the harder it is to avoid accidents, especially if it is an SUV with a truck suspension and high center of gravity. Elsewhere in the media SUVs, one class of larger vehicles, were responsible for an extra 2000 deaths due to their collisions with smaller vehicles — collisions which would not have been deadly had two smaller vehicles collided. Two other aspects of larger vehicles bear mentioning: pedestrian encounters with larger vehicles are more dangerous and larger vehicles pollute more.
G.M.’s “Starr” Performance
It’s not better than sex, but close. Then again, after 50 few things are. Sorry for being oblique. That was my reaction to your story about Starr’s involvement in the G.M. case and the ethical “quandry” (that will be the prissy word) it puts him in. The thing I wonder about after the intervening years of the 70s, 80s,and 90s is: How much good does MJ’s muck-raking do? I don’t mean this as a criticism, but just one fuckin’ time, I’d like to see one of these bastards disbarred, stripped of his pension plan and left to finish out his days as an insurance adjuster.
I don’t have anything in particular to rage about. Just keep doing your jobs. You’re doing great. When I get my retirement pittance after 35 or 40 years of teaching, I’ll send you some!