The fight against greed

The capitalist system worldwide is concentrating wealth and power into very few hands, a primary driver of corruption. Greed is the name of the game, a sin. This system is causing a population explosion, ecological disasters, large-scale species extinction and climate disruption.

The capitalist position is to maximize profits by lowering labor costs as a major emphasis. This involves moving manufacturing overseas to cheap labor, removing regulations and automating things. People’s needs are not a consideration.

Every 18 months there has been a doubling of computer capacity. Artificial intelligence and automation is now, and has been, replacing manufacturing jobs and is moving to remove trucker’s jobs, and other driver-related jobs with self-driving vehicles.

Artificial intelligence’s increasing abilities will easily result in the replacement of most white collar jobs in the near future. The number of jobs has been going down and will not go up continuing on this path. Governments can’t change things by sticking to our current capitalist system. Poverty and unrest will rise, autocratic rule will rise too, with desperate people seeking a hero. That will not work as autocrats get corrupted and become the ultimate in selfishness and greed.

We need basic income, educated women in charge of their own reproduction, much greater labor input on businesses, laborers getting most of the profits of their labor, greater factual influence on governmental decisions, jailing corrupters and taxing excessive wealth. We also need indigenous peoples’ land preservation resulting in species preservation, and putting morality over greed.

Doug Keith, State College

Danger in ‘alternative facts’

I read with interest the “One-sided calls for unity” opinion letter in the CDT. Does the author live in an alternate universe?

There are powerful corporations — the media, including the internet — in the business of producing narratives that appeal to people just as restaurants produce food designed to appeal and satisfy. All businesses are in business for one reason — to make money.

In order to sell anything, a product or idea has to have great appeal. No problem there, just pick the right ingredients no different than what a restaurant does. All corporations survive only if they are shrewd enough to figure out what people want. Notice I said “want.” Do restaurants give us the food we want or the food that we need to be healthy?

Some corporate narratives are designed to inform and some are designed to persuade. A democracy depends on a well-informed public, not a well persuaded public.

There are only facts, not alternative facts as Kellyanne proclaims. Where can we find facts, real facts and not alternative facts? There are at least two places on the net that are designed to give us facts. Politifact.com and factcheck.org. Without a public willing to use those websites we might repeat the European experience of the 1930s or the Russian experience somewhat earlier. Like junk food, some people will stick with the “alternative facts.” Can people find the two minutes it takes to check the facts? Bad information can destroy us just as bad food can.

Fred Bucheit, Mill Hall

State GOP’s attempts at disenfranchisement

The Pennsylvania Republican Party has disenfranchised many of the commonwealth’s citizens by gerrymandering, allowing the elected legislators to pick their voters. Now, the Pennsylvania Republican Party continues to seek to complete disenfranchisement by attempting to have the courts throw out all of our votes. It would appear that the party and its leaders, state Sen. Jake Corman and Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, do not believe in elections.

Jeffrey Kern, State College

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