Local Commentary

Letters to the Editor for the Week of October 2 – 8, 2008




Maller Down on Wall Street Bailout Plan

Editor,

Like all Americans and indeed the entire world I have watched with fascination the financial turmoil of the past weeks and months.

It is very tempting to cast blame on “Wall Street” or our Federal Government or President Bush, but of course all of us have a share of the blame for taking advantage of the easy money and lax regulatory environment of the past decade. Rapid and unprecedented globalization has removed much of the ability of our government to insulate our economy from the rational flow of capital which now threatens to destroy the very foundations of our economy.

In addition to the consumer binge that our “leaders” have encouraged in order to keep our economy moving after the shock of 9/11, we are now facing what T. Boone Pickens has called the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. Every day, we import about 14 million barrels of oil now worth somewhere from $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion, or approaching $700 billion per year. At some point over the past two years, this has crossed a tipping point and caused millions of Americans to be unable to meet their obligations.

As I said the other night, $700B is ~$2,333 for every man, woman and child in the Country or about $9,000 for a family of four. Based on some simple math, assuming the average home is worth about $300k, the problem is that the value of the home has fallen by maybe 20% or $60k and needs to fall another 10% at least for the market to stabilize. Assuming that there are 50 million homes in the U.S. that means that another $1.5 trillion will disappear, on top of the $3 trillion that has already evaporated from the residential real estate market. Much of this is collateral for loans that will not be repaid, and there is little that the government can do except intervene directly in the market because right now the rational thing for an individual to do with a few thousand dollars from the government would be to buy gold, fuel oil, food and other tangible things that will do nothing to address the issue of falling real estate prices, and even less to address the issue of rising energy prices.

Dan Maller, Member

F.C. City Council

CBC Chiefs Urge New F.C. Citizens to Join

Editor,

The Citizens for a Better City (CBC) share a common commitment, that of supporting a strong flourishing community. CBC will turn 50 next year. An organization established in 1959, it is based on the belief that an independent and responsive city government can only be sustained through the involvement of informed citizens with diverse independent views willing to serve to protect the quality of life for all of its citizens. This vision has traditionally been promoted by searching for and nominating experienced, qualified, and independent minded candidates for office when City elections are held. Our candidates currently serve on both the City Council and the School Board. We also encourage future candidates to gain experience through their participation in school organizations and on city boards and commissions. Additionally, the CBC is an information gathering and dissemination center.

As we move forward in the 21st century, the CBC can only continue to meet this vision by attracting eager volunteers, needing both the young and the mature. We welcome all Falls Church citizens to join. We are striving to bring the City away from a recent history of polarizing politics to embrace new members that will enhance a broader more diverse view. If you are a new member of our community we invite you to learn more about CBC. If you have been in the community for several years and have not been a part of the CBC, we invite you to take a second look. Through team work, we can make Falls Church a “Better City” by expecting and supporting a city government that will represent the interest of all citizens, including our schools, our children, our senior citizens, our businesses, and our environment.

Whether you are frustrated with the state of our City, or satisfied, we invite you to join CBC, and get involved. Please contact us at [email protected] and review the CBC “principles” by visiting our website www.fallschurchcbc.net. Join us and be a part of your City’s future.

Gordon Theisz and Deb Gardner

CBC Executive Committee Members

How is New Bus Scheduling ‘Better Service?’

Editor,

I read with interest how the updated bus route schedule will “better serve our students and parents”. My grandaughter, who takes the bus to my house each day, has been better served by having a 40-45 minute bus ride under the new schedule as opposed to the 15 minute ride she had under the old schedule. My daughter will be better served by being forced to pick up her child at school each day so she doesn’t have to spend three quarters of an hour on a bus so crowded that there are 3 children to a seat.There are students in Loudoun County who don’t spend 45 minutes on a bus – how can it be neccessary in a two square mile area? Who in the City is supplying the definition of “better served”? If the powers- that-be are trying to cut gasoline costs, let them just say so!

Merelyn Kaye

Falls Church