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Co-ops and Robbers



Carl Ratner's letter ("Mailbox," Aug. 8) exposing the nefarious workings of the Co-op's management and its hiring of an attorney from the law firm of Jackson Lewis, dedicated to a "union free workplace" and in bed with the Koch-funded Heritage Foundation, is spot on and well needs reading by those who frequent the Co-op. Mr. Ratner uses the term "neoliberal" to identify the law firm as a group, as well as the Heritage Foundation.

I totally agree with this indictment, but some reading the letter will see no further than the term "liberal", never mind what the "neo" means. The term liberal or neoliberal ("new" liberal) however, used in the economic context in Mr. Ratner's letter, is something very different from the word "liberal" used in a political context, as it was during Franklin Roosevelt's tenure as president. Roosevelt's New Deal did indeed better the lives of a great many people and foster the idea that government should advance the common good.

With the shrinking of unions, and the rise of corporate power through both SCOTUS and Wall Street shenanigans, once again the economic liberals of the 1880's and 1890's (robber barons) have returned as the one-percenters and their lackeys. These are the economic neoliberals.

I am and have been a "liberal" for over 65 years and am proud of it. But mine is the New Deal political liberalism that Keynes suggested would allow capitalism to flourish only with full employment, and that could be accomplished only by the government and the central banks intervening to increase employment. The "neoliberals" that Mr. Ratner so aptly labels in his letter, shining a bright light on Co-op management's actions, are against unions and the benefits those unions fight to preserve for the dwindling middle class. They are a whole different matter.

Jack Bettis, Eureka

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