To the Editor:
I found Adam Gillitt’s article on Astra Corporation “Astra—Alameda’s Hometown Rocket Company” (September 16, 2022) very interesting and encouraging. Of course, Alameda was a major industrial center during and immediately following World War II, but with the shutting of the shipyards and then the Naval Air Station, the manufacturing employment here has withered away. This has had a huge impact socially on the island.
Skilled manufacturing jobs not only provide wages that can support family life; there is also the psychological factor of people working at jobs that contribute in an important way to society. Serving lattes and croissants just doesn’t give the same meaning to one’s existence as working on a cure for Alzheimer’s or building rockets to explore space. Or perhaps a better way to look at it is, if we had a large percentage of our workforce engaged in productive activity, even the barista’s job would have more meaning, as most of the customers getting their morning jolt would be going off to do something important.
A final thought: I know that Astra is like a lot of innovative companies in the U.S.—started by some smart guys or gals who need cash to get their ideas from the drawing board to the production line. Some make it, some don’t. Much depends on the largesse of a few billionaires or the whims of hedge fund managers. This is not really the best way for capitalism to flourish. America was started with a different system, called national banking, pioneered by Alexander Hamilton. Can’t go into details here, but it’s worth looking into. It’s totally different from our current Federal Reserve.
Editorials and Letters to the Editor
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