I would appreciate the opportunity to respond briefly to Robert Hebert’s critique of my recent letter to The Advocate.

Hebert’s letter offers the starkest possible contrast between our choices of political/economic information sources. My information (also reported by Market Watch) came from the World Bank, a nonpartisan organization which states its goal is the elimination of worldwide poverty. On the other hand, Hebert chose to quote the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a highly partisan organization founded by a lobbyist to pursue the Libertarian goal of doing away with “big government.”

I think I’m going to go with the World Bank on this one.

Moreover, Hebert apparently did not take into consideration the real-world effects of the type of deregulated markets he champions. These effects include unemployment nearing 10 percent, thousands of homes in foreclosure, record-breaking increases in the gap between rich and poor, and more than 46 million Americans living below the poverty line, to name but a few.

Apparently, Hebert did not factor this staggering evidence of human suffering into his “cost/benefit analysis.” But then, neither did syndicated columnist George Will.

Michael Hale

Information technology consultant

Baton Rouge