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A Recovery in Need of Recovery

Rana Foroohar's analysis of America's sputtering economy is spot-on ["What Recovery?" June 20]. At the heart of our high unemployment rate lies the fact that corporations and their executives profit immensely from the migration of jobs to low-cost countries. In a perfect world, Congress would devise a creative solution to better align the interests of these executives with those of the American workforce. Too bad pigs will fly before that happens.

Kevin Coakley, PALO ALTO, CALIF.

It's bad enough that President Obama's $800 billion economic-recovery program is a total bust. But why add insult to injury by assuming that the private sector has no chance and that government is still the solution? Indeed, government has been the problem all along. Government, from Jimmy Carter to Bill Clinton, caused the housing bubble by intimidating lenders with legislation designed to make it too simple to buy a home.

Daniel B. Jeffs, APPLE VALLEY, CALIF.

I loved it. Finally, the real truth about our economic decline appears in major media. Foroohar's economic myth busting explains it all--why multinationals don't hire in the U.S., why Keynesian stimulus no longer stimulates and how lopsided growth in the financial sector has hurt us. Yet she never actually arrives at the bottom-line cause and the professional economist's sacred cow: our naive acceptance of an unfettered free market.

James A. Cunningham, SARATOGA, CALIF.

Here are two ideas to spur recovery: Let corporations that keep profits abroad to avoid paying taxes repatriate the money at a special 5% or 10% tax rate as long as they create a certain number of jobs. Companies that take advantage of such a tax break but fail to create enough jobs would retroactively owe the full tax. Homeowners who are underwater should be allowed a deduction on tax returns for losses suffered. This would increase mobility by allowing people to move where the jobs are and clear the housing market by making homes more affordable at real market prices.

Ray Damani, SPARTANBURG, S.C.

Foroohar claims that the private sector cannot make things better and that entrepreneurs are not one of America's greatest strengths. This is think-tank talk. Our small entrepreneurial business in the struggling industrial market has doubled its staff in the last year and is looking for more. We have hired people who are more than 60 years old, plus a summer intern whom we are actually (gasp) paying.

Jeff Winkel, LENEXA, KANS.

High School and Beyond

I felt "Life After High School" was somewhat simplistically presented [June 20]. I am a junior in high school, and my family has one of the lowest incomes in a very affluent community. I found it difficult to understand why you made no correlation between income and popularity. Yes, conformity rules in high school, but it takes money to conform. I have found that often the popular kids are the ones who can afford brand names, throw big parties in their nice houses and invite people on their phones that their parents are most likely paying for. Playing sports all year is very expensive too, as is attending SAT/ACT prep courses, student-government programs and class trips.

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