The ideas presented in Robert Reich's article "Memo From Main Street to Wall Street: 'Drop Dead!' " {Outlook, Dec. 6} deserve constant repetition and debate. Prof. Reich has clearly pointed out that what America needs is serious attention to raising productivity -- and that this need is not necessarily the same as Wall Street's desire for an early return to the bull market. Unless this country's productivity begins rising at a rate comparable to that of our competitors, our standard of living will decline compared with Japan's, Germany's and so on, and any bull market will be short-lived.

A critical point complementary to Prof. Reich's was made by H. Ross Perot {Oct. 25}, who suggested that we are faced with a failure of American management. Before U.S. industry was challenged by strong foreign competitors, management that blamed employees for poor quality and high costs could be tolerated. In a world where the leading Japanese corporation elicits 6 million suggestions for improvement from workers a year, managers who refuse to accept responsibility for their companies' performance are bound to lose.

The greatest opportunity for productivity increases is in the area of labor-management relations. The hard work of shifting from adversary to cooperative, and from authoritarian to participative, relationships is a crucial investment that America must make.