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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
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
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
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 FrielBack to index page