Email letters, Jan. 5, 2012

Capitalism will work better with less restrictions

While capitalism has been called the worst economic system there is, that’s only true until it’s compared to any other economic system. It’s acknowledged that it isn’t perfect, it’s just better than anything else. Thus, when Thomas Phillips recommends that in a finite system (our planet) capitalism needs to be “tweaked” to be sustainable he is suggesting there is a better way. Tweaking capitalism after it has been developed over thousands of years and vetted as the best economic system is a fantasy.

First of all, any tweaking of capitalism morphs it into one of the other more flawed economic systems to one degree or another. 

Second, capitalism is the best economic system when there is a finite supply of anything because as a product/resource becomes more scarce it naturally becomes more expensive. As it becomes more expensive there is less demand for it. Eventually, as the cost continues to rise, there isn’t any appreciable demand for it at all.

Third, when capitalism is allowed to function, then new methods, materials, technologies, and products are developed to supplant whatever the market place has determined is too expensive.

Fourth, we live in a representative republic and so we have politicians making laws and regulations based on politics. Well, what is politics? Groucho Marx described it best when he said, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing the problem and prescribing the wrong remedy.” It’s why we get bone-headed decisions like ethanol from corn, government rules changes so that people who can’t afford a mortgage get one, ObamaCare and half-billion dollar U.S. government guaranteed loans to now bankrupt Solyndra. None of those idiotic decisions would have occurred had capitalism been allowed to work freely.

If we’re going to try anything to improve capitalism, then let’s free it up and have more of it. Then Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” can work it’s magic to the betterment of all.

Grand Junction

Energy development should not come at the expense of important resources

Rhetoric regarding American energy independence is regularly used to justify risky extraction activities. Simple research easily shows that energy has been among the top three U.S. exports for years now, suggesting that current policy favors trading American BTUs for money, rather than keeping those BTUs on our own soil.

So, it seems we permit the pillaging of our precious lands and waters to fuel foreign economies, while permitting a few companies and individuals access to phenomenal riches and at the same time, doing precious little to actually provide the much vaunted energy independence for our own nation and citizens. This is disingenuous in the extreme and utterly unacceptable. The current surplus in gas is profound. We cannot now use all industry rushes to extract. Wise, cautious extraction of resources is likely reasonable as long as it’s done responsibly, never sacrificing arguably the more important resources of air, water, land, biological diversity and other equally vital human economies. Profit and wealth are inadequate justifications for spoiling the lives and lands of others.


We all need to slow down

What’s the rush these days? This fast-paced world is getting out of hand. Halloween was barely over before Christmas carols started, then came black Friday, cyber Monday, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da. Just as Christmas began to fade, Valentines day stuff started popping up.

I remember when the Super Bowl was played in January,and there was no such thing as playoff wild card teams. And don’t get me started about this primary crap. How long does it take to pick a candidate anyway? I think we’re all tired of hearing about the voters in Iowa, or any candidate for that matter.

I think we need to slow down, thank the Lord for our blessings, and worry about our families more. Join me in working toward a happier, more prosperous year. That other stuff will take care of itself.

Grand Junction

How we treat our animals is a reflection on our community

Last week a frantic young man called me, asking if I were a veterinarian. I have an animal-based business, but I am not a vet. I asked him what was wrong. He said his 9-week-old puppy had been badly cut and was bleeding heavily. He had been going through phone books trying to find a vet who would see his pup, but one after another turned him down after he told them he had no funds.

He had been calling clinics in Grand Junction and as far away as Glenwood Springs. He was so upset he could barely speak, just repeating, “My puppy is dying and no one will help him.” If I had enough money on my credit card, I would have helped him with the bill. I told him to call a Grand Junction animal shelter and ask them if they could refer him to a vet who might possibly help. He thanked me and hung up.

Later in the afternoon, I called back to see if he had found anyone. “It was too late,” he said. “I took my puppy to a shelter but he passed away.”
What is going on here? In the middle of a season that stresses hope and love and charity a puppy died because no one cared? I know veterinarians have to charge fees. But maybe this kid could have worked something out to help pay.

Gandhi said the moral progress of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. What would he think of the ‘moral progress’ of some of the people in Mesa County?

Glenwood Springs

No candidate has the juice to unseat Obama

With a local political philosophy dominated by God, guns and a virulent hatred of government, the upcoming Mesa County Republican primary election should be a lively affair.

My bet is that Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, the most radical potential nominees, will garner the most support.

The core of Santorum’s radicalism centers on his positions regarding abortion and contraception. He is firmly against an abortion exception for rape, and has publicly declared he will completely defund federal funding for contraception if elected president. He recently told, that contraception is “... not OK. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” He would also allow individual states to outlaw any and all forms of contraception if they wanted to.

Santorum seems to be mired in a time-warp circa 1955, when most American women were thought of as having little more value than as sperm-activated breeding machines and non-salaried house-keepers.

Ron Paul is just plain weird, especially on monetary policy. A “faux” Republican, Paul is actually an “anarcho-capitalist” who believes even limited government is a contradiction and the free market can provide better law, order, and security than any government monopoly.

He not only wants the United States to return to the gold standard and abolish the Federal Reserve, but believes our currency should be “free and private,” meaning individual banks (not the federal government) should produce and distribute all money.

Romney, Gingrich, Perry and Huntsman don’t really count: Romney is too moderate, Gingrich has too much baggage, Perry doesn’t have enough brains and Huntsman has too many.

But no matter who the Republicans choose from the current crop of contenders, none has the juice to unseat our current president.

Grand Junction


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