The Guardian May 28, 2003


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Letters may be e-mailed to guardian@cpa.org.au.
Letters of 300-400 words are preferred.


Letters to the Editor:

US dollar victim of Iraq war

The US dollar suffers collateral damage from the Iraq war.

Washington Post April 17, 2003 said: "US is waging a war and the Federal 
Budget slides deeper into deficit".

In the same article the US Senate Finance Committee, alarmed at President 
Bush's proposal for tax cut of US$915 billion, demanded a ceiling of tax 
cuts of US$580 billion. The cost of the war up to a certain stage was 
US$350 billion but it will be much more.

Other factors have undermined the dollar. The latest trade deficit was a 
record US$735 billion.

Since Bush became President there have been two million jobs lost, a 35 
percent increase in unemployment; collapse and scandal of Enron, WorldCom 
and Harkin; airspace companies gone out of business; at least a 35 percent 
fall in the stock market.

Overshadowing all that is the unpayable Federal Government debt of US$62 
trillion accumulated from excessive armaments and war spending.

Three months ago 98 US cents could buy a euro; now it costs US$1.57 to 
US$1.20, a 20 per cent fall. The West Australian May 12, 2003, reported a 
rise in the Australian dollar to 64.58 US cents, an increase in value this 
year of 15 per cent against the U.S. dollar, whose value has been falling.

Nearly all Europe has taken the euro as their currency. Iraq, Russia, 
Venezuela, North Korea and China are buying into euros and getting out of 
dollars and US bonds.

If OPEC, Oil Producing Exporting Countries decide to set their price of oil 
in euros and drop the US dollar, that would further destroy the dollar.

It would accelerate the economic crisis of USA and have worldwide 
repercussions. The US dollar and its economy will be victims of the war in 
Iraq, a war they cannot win.

Vic Williams
Perth, WA

Beattie out of touch
Premier Beattie is sadly out of touch on the issue of class sizes in 
schools and must realise we are lagging behind a number of other 
States.

The Premier's recent public comments that we are supposedly better than the 
national average on this issue are confusing and misleading.

In Queensland we unfortunately have over 2500 oversized classes, which 
means more than 50,000 students are learning in crowded conditions. These 
statistics are based on the Government's own figures.

A number of other States, including New South Wales, have made progress on 
class sizes while the Beattie Government has stubbornly refused to lower 
maximum targets in Queensland.

For example, the New South Wales Government recently announced a four-year 
plan to reduce kindergarten classes to 20, Year 1 classes to 22 and Year 2 
classes to 24.

Queensland's target of 25 in preschool to Year 3, 30 in Years 4-10 and 25 
in Years 11-12 are more than 20 years old and need to be urgently revised.

Is it too much to expect that the State Government stops misleading the 
public on this issue and starts taking action that will benefit our 
students?

Julie-Ann McCullough
President, Queensland Teachers' Union

Must keep the system going
Jo Donleavy (Letters, The Guardian 7/5/03) issues a timely 
warning that needs constant repetition to keep people aware all the time of 
what they are confronting. Fascism is not a figment of imagination  or of 
the past but a reality of today.

As has been pointed out, a long time ago and proved correct  monopoly 
capitalism reaches its peak and final stage in fascism and in this case of 
the greatest of the capitalist states, the fascist rule will be "greater" 
than previous ones.

It will have "learned" from the "weaknesses" of previous fascist states and 
will be more ruthlessly brutal than ever  inconceivable as it may seem.

As Jo has stated the legislation is already there  the majority of the 
anti-terrorist (fascist) legislation having already been passed federally -
- and in the case of the ASIO Bill still held up in the Senate  the NSW 
"Labor" Government has obligingly opened a back door method for the Howard 
Government with its passage of laws giving greater powers to police and 
other law enforcement agencies  including the position of the State 
Attorney-General as the virtual Gauleiter of NSW!

What are capitalist parties for if not to help one another when they come 
up against a sticky spot. Must keep the capitalist system going.

Bert Appleton
Killcare Hts, NSW

Terrorism
Opposition leader Simon Crean is right when he says that our involvement 
in the war in Iraq has increased the risk to Australia and Australians of a 
terrorist attack. But he did not mention the obvious solution  withdrawal 
from the military alliance with the United States of America.

The Howard Government's awareness of this danger is borne out by the new 
powers for the secret police, the anti-terrorism laws, the increased 
funding for spies, assassins and secret police, increased security on the 
waterfront and the recall of reservists for guard duties and crowd control.

Will they wear black shirts or brown shirts with their jackboots?

Col Friel
Alawa, NT
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