Truth in Media Activism: Letters to Editors

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August 6, 1998

To: The Wall Street Journal

Does the Wall Street Journal Dance to Bankers' Tunes?

Re.  Editorial "Debt Heads," (8/06/98)



Letters Editor


New York, NY

Dear Sir,

I didn't realize that Wall Street bankers owned the Wall Street Journal. Nor that they wrote your editorials. For, your "Debt Heads" editorial (8/06/98) reads as if it had been composed by one of the bankers' "PR" agencies, rather than by a responsible journalist thirsting for the whole truth to be known.

You say that "America's debt burden will shrink every year that the economy grows." That is an absolute falsehood. On two counts. First, because America's humongous debt burden has been expanding, not shrinking in recent years, as have been the debt-servicing payments which the bankers have been collecting from the American taxpayers. Second, because you do not tell your readers what would happen if the economy failed to grow (as seems to be the imminent prospect, given a mere 1.4% rise in the second quarter GDP).

Instead, you engage in mathematical semantics suggesting that our national debt would shrink from a 50.2% of GDP peak in 1994, to 18% in 2008. Yet you never tell us what your underlying GDP growth assumptions are. Nor what the absolute national debt or GDP figures are.

In other words, you're playing a game of smoke and mirrors with numbers.

If, for example, you assumed an unceasing 3% or higher U.S. GDP growth for the next 10 years, my oh my... then maybe it is possible that one day the Mississippi may flow all the way back from Louisiana to Minnesota. Or that the ice will melt in Hawaii. Or that Washington may champion the U.S. taxpayers' interests.

At the very least, your editorial was irresponsible journalism. More likely, it was evidence of the Journal editors' responding to your rich banker neighbors' order to jump with a "how high?" retort.

Shame, shame... And here we thought that the press in America was free and independent. Or was that a paid ad we had read in your newspaper?


Best regards,

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Bob Djurdjevic

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Also check out... "Debt Is Good!  Really?""Kosovo: Another Vietnam?", "Banality of Bombings", "Greek Archbishop: Stop This NATO Attack,"  "You Were Wrong About Gen. Perisic", "New York Times' Kosovo News Manipulation",  "Plus, Another Kosovo News Cover-up""Embarrassed About Such 'Serbs',"  "Put the UN Justice on Trial""Another Wall Street Bailout, Another Main Street Sellout", "Does WSJ Dance to Wall St. Bankers' Tunes?""Clinton Fiddles While Milosevic Burns""Let the Bombing Begin?  Not!" , "What's Good for the Goose..."  and "Journal's Rotten Apples" (Wall Street Journal); and "Stock buybacks: Wall St.'s Duping of Main St.", Business Week).