Dear Editor,

My grandfather’s name was Pat and he had a twin brother, Mike. He would tell me great “Pat and Mike” jokes. One went like this:

“Pat says to Mike, ‘How much money did you make this year?’ ‘A million dollars,’ says Mike. ‘Like all the saints in Hell, how could you? You’re pig-in-the-parlor Irish and you have no job!’ said Pat. ‘Like this,’ says Mike, ‘That Rockefeller man made two million and so together we each made one million. Everyone knows two divided by two equals one!’”

Your fine article [“The Economy is Worse Than You Think,” by Nat Weinstein, Socialist Viewpoint] in the August/September 2008 issue gives us the details on how the government lies. A part of this is like Mike—they take “averages”—the nation has a 2.4 percent inflation rate; the nation has only a 5 percent unemployment rate, etc., etc.

However, as the capitalist nation-state goes into its death agony, different geo- and social parts die at different rates. Detroit is not now in a recession but in close to a major depression. Large cities in the South West, which depend on the gambling and housing booms are in, or soon will be in, a major depression. Other areas like Minneapolis, MN have only a minor recession at this time.

The U.S. is like a person with leprosy—parts of them fall off at different times. This needs to be considered accurately, giving it correct weight by the antiwar forces. The center now holds, but soon it will not.

We need to study Trotsky’s, The History of the Russian Revolution to help us to understand this present, very important period in history.

With warmest comradely greetings,

Joe Johnson, Chippewa Falls, WI