Readers Forum

Read more responses to our Stand Up to Corporate Power issue.


New Economic Paradigms

Your “Standing up to Corporations” issue begins to get at one of the institutional roots of imbalance and violence—social, political and ecological—in our society. I was particularly interested in the article by Michael Marx and Marjorie Kelly describing the formation of the Strategic Corporate Initiative.

Taking the long view is what we must do. There are always brush fires to fight, but we have to address the arsonist behind them, now carefully protected by law, politics, and lore.

A major sphere of frames for the SCI to consider is economics. Neo-classical economics is merely an ideology. Its axioms are never tested empirically, but only repeated like a creed. A number of economists have formed the Post-Autistic Economic Network (, subjecting the shibboleths of their discipline to informed and rigorous scrutiny.

Part of what we need is a new kind of accounting, looking beyond money as the unit of measurement, and evaluating what it is that the money is actually doing. Redefining Progress, a think-tank in the San Francisco Bay area, does so with a Genuine Progress Indicator (

— Stoney Bird, Mount Vernon, WA

Right to Clean Water

Kelydra Welcker (featured in Signs of Life [People We Love], Fall 2007), an outstanding young scientist, is to be commended for her development of an inexpensive countertop filter to remove APFO, a potentially carcinogenic chemical, from water polluted by the manufacture of Teflon. But wait!

Why is it a family's responsibility to purchase this device to filter our water? Shouldn't the Teflon manufacturer be responsible for not poisoning the water to begin with?

— Sylvia Lambert, Interior, SD

Natural Gas Pipelines

I read your article “Communities Take Power” where a community fought to protect their water source. In my community, we are opposing a liquid natural gas facility and an enormous gas pipeline that will carry the product to other states. This project was planned behind our backs and is now being shoved into our communities. We have not had the time to become informed or participate even though we have rights to be active participants in the decision-making process. The corporate gas industry is currently pursuing over 50 such terminals around the USA. Your community might be targeted next.

Please get the word out.

— Dea Anna McConnell, Myrtle Creek, OR

YES! in Latin America

I am writing to you from ADITAL, a Brazilian news portal focusing on social change. We are very happy to feature your Spanish language articles on our site. It has been difficult to build relationships with groups who produce articles and news about what is happening in U.S. civil society. We have the common objective of letting the world know about the good ideas and initiatives that people are putting into practice. We are very excited about this collaboration.
—Un abrazo.

(translated from Spanish)

— Ermanno Allegri, Director of ADITAL, Brazil

Zucchini Wars

After chuckling my way through Barbara Kingsolver's “Zucchini Wars,” I had to write because what she says is so true! One summer as our potluck dinner group arrived, we realized that all nine dishes were squashes. There were so many varying recipes, however, that it was delicious. We've laughed about it ever since. It never happened again.

— Lane Waas, Asheville, NC

Carbon Trading

In your editorial supporting the auctioning of carbon allowances, you seem to support Peter Barnes' idea of a Sky Trust. I have serious concerns about the governance of such an organization. Why wouldn't it be more democratic to simply have the government run such an agency? Why would we want to give control over decisions as to how to spend the vast sums of money from the auction to a private organization? Auction funds could be invested in renewable energy and conservation technologies so that the overall economy could achieve the carbon limits imposed in a more economically efficient way than if the money is simply given back to individuals on an equal per capita basis.

— Richard Rosen, Ph.D., Executive Vice-President, Tellus Institute, Boston, MA

Fan of YES!

I must confess I had decided not to renew my subscription. Then along came the recent issue on democracy in Latin America. I read it with great fascination and satisfaction. It was the kind of coverage and investigation that made me aware of why I liked YES! in the first place—insightful, interesting, provocative and objective; maybe even courageous.

— Ronald C. Reimer, Mission Hills, KS


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