From: Jim Chesky
Subject: Okay, Ann, now you have ruined my Christmas

Dear Ann Grackin:

Well, now you did it. You've pulled the fake beard off the department store Santa Claus and sent us all scurrying for cover in Toyland.

Yes, of course you are right. We are trying to live in a holiday dream. Only, the holiday is long over and most all of us do not want to believe it. We believe the politicians who are happy to say we are the greatest, but do not remember our own high school history classes where all great societies, on the brink of failure, declared their greatness. I am at a loss to understand the thinking I see among so many people who are given so much responsibility. Not long ago I heard a friend lament over how parents were failing to properly raise their children, not even calling for the most minimal of disciplines. He was demanding that parents be tested before being given children to raise-up. I asked, were we not the same? Undisciplined children running through the isles of the world's store, we are spilling over the displays, taking what we want, and crying if we do not get it. However, our tantrums will not get us what we want forever. Soon, maybe sooner than we believe, we will be asked to leave the store, since we can no longer afford to shop there.

I read where you said you are working in Europe. Does this mean that soon our opinions will be imported as well? It may not matter; really, truth is truth wherever it is spoken and whoever says it. Once, when my dad, mother and brothers all stood looking at a neighbor's new German made camera, my dad remarked that it was good to know that the new camera was so finely made, but shook his head and asked, "Why can't we make this?" To which our neighbor replied, "We don't have the discipline, Walt."

Several times in history, we had garnered the resolve and put a shoulder to that difficult wheel. Reluctant as we were, we did it. However, we need a leader that will call on us for this resolve. Not a Santa Claus in one form or other.

As always, I enjoy your writing. When will you do your book, run for office, and right the world?

Jim Chesky, Nextel

From: Rich Cree
Subject: Your Comments About Debt

Dear Ann;

I realize that being fiscally responsible would be the best logical course
of action. However, from reading the state of the U.S. economy through
BUSINESS WEEK and other business publications, I believe that you will find
data to indicate that for over the last 30 years, 70% of the American
people have not had real wage increases---most of any of these increases
have gone to the top 30%. Add to this economic data, I see the fact that
the Chinese are selling at 30% below cost over a wide range of products with
an undervalued currency and rampant intellectual property theft. How do we
make any long-term economic plans, when most people are fighting for
economic survival---how can we even think about our children or
grandchildren when many people are in a life and death struggle to survive
this vicious economic jungle called lasse faire capitalism? I think that
Maslow's hierarchy of needs kicks in at times like this with most people.

Now, added to these harsh economic facts, I find that this government seems
to be oblivious to the debt, clueless about the Chinese economic destruction
of U.S. jobs and insensitive to the plight of most Americans' economic
plight. I really think that I live in a country not established "of the
people, by the people and for the people" but "of the rich, by the rich and
for the rich"---everyone else is irrelevant to that basic premise. Until
this economic focus changes, I don't think that you will have much hope of
solving the debt issues until the greed economy and its enrichment of the
few has changed.

Rich Cree, Howard Industries, Inc.





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