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I don’t know Valencia Mohammed (or at least no more than I read in Washington City Paper) (“Radical Mediocrity,” 11/1), but Eric Sommer’s ode to corporate standards attacking her for failed leftist politics (The Mail, 11/15) forces me to respond. Somewhat amusing but quite tragic is his lifting up of airline corporation ValuJet as the type of place her skills would not enable her to be employed. If this is Sommer’s best example of a good place to work he should really check around a lot further. ValuJet put its passengers’ safety up to the lowest bid so as to cut costs. Federal Express, another of Sommer’s examples of good places to work just used the right-wing Congress to keep its employees from unionizing. This gives it an unfair advantage over its competitors who have bargained fair contracts with their workers.
I would guess that Sommer would say that what’s good for the stockholders is good for America (and to hell with the people who do the work). For myself, I am glad there are still people who speak up. I hope Mohammed will continue to speak up and will become an effective voice for the poor people of this city. Further, I would recommend Michael Lerner’s book The Politics of Meaning to anyone who doesn’t understand (or who does) our predicament. It certainly won’t be the corporate big fish eating all the little fish around the world that makes the world worth living in.
via the Internet