Economic rebels

Published: Fri, Feb. 13, 2009

Reasonable people can disagree about whether the Civil War was fought over slavery or the tariff, or was simply an inevitable conflict between agricultural and industrial societies. All these theories boil down to one basic issue: How much federal control and national uniformity should there be with respect to the economy?

In this age of spectacular failure of the federally regulated industrial national economy, it seems odd to want to tear down tributes to the men who fought on the states’-rights side of that conflict. Instead, we should simply stop paying tribute (in the form of trillion-dollar bailouts and stimulus packages) to the large corporations and large-government backers who got us into this mess.

J. Peder Zane (column, Feb. 8) connects the Confederate monument in Raleigh to political and racial turmoil in the wake of the economic downturn in the early 1890s. In today’s economic crisis, North Carolina simply has no time to deal with people like Zane who manufacture controversies over historical monuments in an attempt to divide us further. Instead, let’s reflect on our economic heritage and see if there’s something we can learn from those Confederate soldiers who fought for states’ rights and local control.

Timothy Wyatt

Raleigh

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