Printed letters, September 4, 2013

The Daily Sentinel’s account of the renovation of Main Street in the 1960s notes also that uranium production was near its peak. The uranium boom was pumping money into the local economy.

The construction of the current Grand Junction Regional Airport terminal occurred during the oil shale boom of the early 1980s. St. Mary’s Hospital expansion occurred during the gas boom of the early 2000s. That these and many other capital improvements we continue to enjoy occurred during the boom cycle was, in my mind, not a coincidence.

I have lived in Mesa County through all these booms and the busts that followed, including the bust of the 1930s. I have to say that I prefer a boom-bust economy to a perpetual bust-bust economy that seems to be the current goal.


Grand Junction

Consumers are the ones 
who really create the jobs

The recent letter from Richard Blosser suggesting, in effect, that we should be thankful for businessmen who provide the jobs we badly need indicates either a lack of understanding of basic economics or that he is under the spell of our local Chamber of Commerce.

Nobody invests his or her money in a business with the objective of providing jobs. The businessman is the one who should be thankful that there is a demand for the product he is selling. Only members of the public make it possible for the businessman to exist because they provide the necessary demand and ability to pay that caused the businessman to choose to go into business in the first place. Show me a businessman whose first concern is to provide jobs, on a continuing basis, and I’ll show you a person who will soon be out of business.

Blosser seems to have fallen under the spell of those who are “supply-siders,” who truly seem to believe that if you provide it, they will come. Any good businessman will laugh you out of his presence with such a belief. Business exists to fill a need or demand. Whether jobs are created is totally dependent on the strength of the demand, and the best businessmen seek to hire as few people as possible to carry out the needs of satisfying the existing demand at any particular time.

No, as much as our local chamber would like Blosser to believe that businessmen are superhuman and should be put onto pedestals, the fact is that the persons who should be on that pedestal are the source of all business profits: the consumers.


Grand Junction


Time to reject Obamacare 
and develop a better plan

Did we really need a 21,000-page piece of legislation to correct our health care system? I think not.

To begin with, it should never have been called the “Affordable” Care Act when it is not. “Obamacare” is probably more fitting. Unfortunately, the whole matter is now totally political and both the merits and the negatives are being ignored or supported, depending on what party to which you belong.

Sadly, both sides agree with some of the major items, i.e. keeping children on their parents’ health care until age 26 if they want or need to and making coverage available regardless of pre-existing conditions.

However, both these could have been accomplished with the support of both parties instead of the individual mandate or the ultimate aim to get to a single-payer system. Unfortunately, for political reasons they ignored such important items as the hot potato of tort reform and the ability to purchase across state lines instead of 50 “exchanges” and “navigators.”

These could have been accomplished on their own and not by changing the entire health system, which, by the way, is the best in the world. They also could have approached the uninsured problem some other way in lieu of forcing the other people and corporations to pay for it in its entirety. And, best of all, they would not need the out-of-control and dysfunctional IRS to enforce the system.

Time to get rid of this awful plan and start over by just looking at the areas where the politicians agree and the American people favor.


Grand Junction


U.S. should have adopted 
alternative fuels in the ‘80s

John Justman’s take on European green energy in his Sunday column leaves many critical facts unstated.

For one thing, Germany has frozen subsidies due more to burdening its citizens in unstable economic times than whether “green” is working or not. Also, most people familiar with renewables understand that there will still be a need for some fossil fuels as a backup.

The fact that a country such as Germany went ahead with solar even with moderate sunshine shows a commitment to modern technology and lowering dependence on dino-fuels (much of which come from Russia).

If we had made the sort of rational, moderate commitment to solar, etc. in the ‘80s and continued it through today, we would not even be mentioning any of this (and we would not be supporting unfriendly Mideast regimes, either).


Grand Junction


John Justman’s column 
presented rational view

Thanks, Daily Sentinel, for publishing John Justman’s thoughtful piece. It is wonderful to read rational economic opinion.


Grand Junction


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L.W. Hunley’s letter in today’s Sentinel (“Time to reject Obamacare and develop a better plan”) is less than half-right about the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

Could Congress have crafted a significantly shorter bill to restructure 16% of the U.S. economy?  Perhaps.

Despite Hunley’s misguided intimation, recent studies confirm that “ObamaCare” is indeed “affordable” – likely saving the average American family some $1600 annually. 

Hunley also implies a false partisan equivalency between opposition to versus support for the ACA, when repugnant Republicans (“Repugnicans”) – including Scott Tipton—are still trying to sabotage it.  Indeed, as the Washington Post opined yesterday, “Republicans should get out of the way of Obamacare” and cease their “disruptive and harmful campaign to complicate, delay and undermine the ACA”.

As Hunley admits, many Americans support ACA’s “major items”, but some – mired in misinformation propagated by cynically dishonest Repugnicans – don’t recognize them as features of “ObamaCare”.

Hunley offers no credible alternative to two widely-accepted approaches to out-of-control health care costs and rising health insurance premiums – individual/employer mandates (originally, the Republican plan) or “single-payer” (preferred by liberals).

The ACA defers “tort reform” to states because its effect on overall health care costs is minimal.  “Purchasing [health insurance] across state lines” is universally dismissed (except by the uninformed) as a “dumb idea”.  Access on state/federal “exchanges” to state-regulated qualifying policies both promotes free-market competition within states and renders affordable health insurance effectively “transportable”.

Contrary to Hunley’s baseless assertion, our “for-profit” approach to rationing health care is neither a “system” nor the “best in the world”.  Rather, the U.S. spends twice as much as other developed societies for health care, but ranks well-down on measures of quality.

Certainly, the ACA can be improved – but only with good-faith cooperation from those who have induced gullible Americans like Hunley to swallow their false propaganda.

George Seely’s letter in today’s Sentinel (“John Justman’s column presented rational view”) epitomizes how blatant hypocrisy and outright falsehoods pass for “rational economic opinion” among local “conservatives”.

Justman’s insipid column (“Free-market policies aid county, not green energy subsidies”, Sep. 1) propounded the purported benefits of the “free market” (but heavily subsidized) oil & gas industry—citing the Grand Valley Transportation Authority’s conversion to natural-gas-fueled buses as an example.  Of course, that widely-acclaimed transition to greener energy was accomplished only with federal “green energy subsidies”.

Justman’s ideological tunnel-vision was also revealed in today’s Sentinel (“School Board moving forward with solar subscription”), which describes a cooperative public-private initiative to save School District 51 perhaps $1 million over 20 years by building a solar panel “garden” on publicly-owned land leased to a private enterprise.  Of course, that “green energy” project is also made possible by green “energy credits” (i.e., “subsidies”).

Moreover, as Tim Pipe writes above, Justman both dubiously compared the sunny Grand Valley and the windy West to northern Europe, and—as Bob Weiffenbach demonstrated in his on-line response (“John Justman column perpetuates sense of victimhood on West Slope”. Sep. 3) – his column was replete with “mistakes and inaccurate data”, falsely portraying our lagging local economy as the “victim” – rather than the beneficiary – of governmental support.

Meanwhile, both Weiffenbach and (previously) Doug Hovde exposed Justman’s self-serving hypocrisy—observing that he’s applied for and received some $190,000 to $200,000 in federal farm subsidies since 1995.

Thus, not only is Justman religiously devoted to a mythical “free-market”, he personally benefits from a corrupt give-away program that – according to recent GAO reports—pays (and fails to recoup) subsidies to deceased farmers and inadequately audits income-eligibility.  Likewise, our pseudo-“conservative” Congressman Scott Tipton voted to pay farm subsidies to his cronies on the House Agriculture Committee!

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