Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

There's more than one way to define a civilian review board

Amitai Etzioni's Jan. 31 Opinion piece, "Give Washington a civilian review board," states that "the extraordinary exercise of [government] power calls for an extraordinary countermeasure: an independent body, not beholden to the government, that the people can trust."

I submit that such a group already exists. They are called voters - and no blue-ribbon panel, high-profile commission, or powerful board of oversight can do their work for them.

A democratic republic is not necessarily a self-tending entity. Each citizen must stay actively informed about the important issues of the day, and exercise his or her right to elect public leaders when the time comes. There is simply no substitute.Aaron KeatingSeattle

A civilian review board to provide grassroots guidance to the government is an interesting idea. But its makeup should be of ordinary, honest citizens - like those who make up juries - rather than "distinguished Americans," as Mr. Etzioni suggests.

If ordinary citizens are that close to US representatives, maybe these representatives will finally start to listen to the people they represent. Maybe with a citizens review board close at hand, we will start to get some ethical behavior from the government. Richard FormicaTampa, Fla.

A need to create high-wage service jobs

Regarding the Jan. 24 article, "Another US automaker down - but not out": Under the rules of the global economy, Ford has little choice but to shed American jobs and move production overseas. However, it is important to realize that these economic rules are not natural laws, but result from deliberate policy choices in favor of free trade in manufactures. In theory, free trade and flexible labor markets should power economic growth and generate enough high- wage service jobs to more than offset the loss of manufacturing jobs.

Unfortunately, the private-sector economy has not generated these new jobs in sufficient numbers. …

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