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Letters to the Editor – The New York Times

Safe Spaces

To the Editor:

Anyone who cares for our democracy should be concerned about the rise of “safetyism” detailed by Thomas Chatterton Williams in his review of “The Coddling of the American Mind” (Sept. 2). The academic left has taken much blame for this development, not undeservedly.

But it is also instructive to recall an episode from 1974, when President Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor, Richard M. Nixon, for his alleged Watergate crimes. Ford warned darkly of “ugly passions” that might be unleashed if a former president were made a criminal defendant, while supporters suggested that the nation would be traumatized by a trial. Ford was ahead of his time in demanding a “safe space” — for the entire country.

JAMES MORRISON
PORTLAND, ORE.

On Top of the World

To the Editor:

Joseph E. Stiglitz knows well the difficulties involved in making globalization work; after all, he wrote the book on it. In his review of Anand Giridharadas’s “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World” (Aug. 26), he is right to decry its failure to deliver the benefits Middle America deserves, but he’s wrong to suggest that today’s leaders lack the desire to do anything about it.

The ideology of Davos is nothing about course correction and everything about bringing on systemic change of the scale and scope needed for a whole-hearted transformation of our global economy. There is no other way to achieve escape velocity from our broken neoliberal model. If there were any “muckety-mucks” at the World Economic Forum, we would have been too busy launching schemes to reskill American workers, tackle inequality or protect the world’s dwindling biodiversity to notice.

At the heart of Stiglitz’s argument is the suggestion that those who believe it is possible to “have it all,” to do well and do good, are deluded at best, disingenuous at worst. I would argue otherwise: More and more leaders from business as well as government, trade unions and civil society are coming around to the belief that doing good while doing well is not just desirable, it’s a matter of survival.

OLIVER CANN
GENEVA

The writer is the head of media content for the World Economic Forum.

To the Editor:

Brian Stauffer’s illustration for the review of “Winners Take All” has it all wrong. The man sitting on top clearly has brown hands while most of those struggling beneath his weight are light-colored. Historically, it’s the people of color who are burdened with numerous inequities while “non-coloreds” enjoy the fruits of their labor.

ERNECE B. KELLY
RIVERDALE, N.Y.

The Times welcomes letters from readers. Letters for publication should include the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Letters should be addressed to The Editor, The New York Times Book Review, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018. The email address is books@nytimes.com. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. We regret that because of the large volume of mail received, we are unable to acknowledge or to return unpublished letters.

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