Email Letters: July 11, 2017

The public needs to pay for what the public needs

While the right harps about the free market they fail to realize that, for example, Medicaid supports a huge free market industry called nursing homes and home staffing. A free market nursing home costs around $7,000/month and full time care in a person’s home costs about $13,000/month. There are a few nursing homes who don’t accept Medicaid, but not many. The free market benefits from caring for recipients of Medicaid. So, losing those benefits puts many free market businesses and employees out of business.

An intriguing history is “How the Post Office Created America: a history” by Winifred Gallagher. The Post Office was our country’s first foray into what folks now call socialism. It was created by the founders before the Revolution and designed by Benjamin Franklin with the premise to primarily spread the news to the public about what Congress was doing. And the free market took full advantage of government largesse with a result that almost all types of transportation; roads, wagons, stagecoaches, trains and airplanes were largely built by the delivery of mail. Passengers were often an afterthought to mail delivery. The founders thought cheap mail was vital for our freedom hence the continuing cheap postage for periodicals.

It’s ironic that spending huge amounts to protect us from the possibility of terrorist strikes is so necessary but healthcare that protects far more isn’t important. The public needs to pay for what the public needs, and sometimes for what some of us don’t want. Since our health is tied to consumer desires and the free market, a sales tax on all purchases would mean everyone contributes to Medicaid and the free market. We all pay, one way or the other.

EILEEN O’TOOLE
Grand Junction

Senseless to issue more permits for oil and gas on Colorado’s public lands

In endorsing Interior Secretary Zinke’s order to speed up oil and gas permitting on our shared public lands, the Sentinel misstates requirements of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act as a “30 day statutory maximum” for the Bureau of Land Management to issue drilling permits.

This is not entirely correct per that law at Section 366 (2). In fact, the BLM is required to do one of two things: either issue the permit (within 30 days) if it complies with the National Environmental Policy Act and other existing law or it must defer that decision if NEPA’s required analysis is incomplete, insufficient, or outdated – or if other laws and regulations might be violated.

Some reasons that could compel an agency to defer an action and ensure it has taken the “hard look” required include: a high level of public concern; significant new information about resources, impacts, or technologies; deficiencies in previous analysis; and, changing uses like increased recreation.

It simply makes no sense – even from a bottom-line-only perspective – to sell off the rights to, and issues permits for, more oil and gas on Colorado’s public lands. The value of these areas for their ecological, wildlife, and social benefit outweighs any likely returns from oil and gas. Nor is it needed now.

Oil and gas companies already control leases on vast tracts of Colorado’s public lands. Many of these companies also hold drilling permits they have not yet used, as natural gas prices remain deflated on the glutted market. Colorado’s and the nation’s public lands should be managed to promote their sustainable use and to protect the natural systems they support, not to pad an oil and gas company’s portfolio or boost its bottom line. Zinke’s order, and the Sentinel’s editorial, both miss the mark.

PETE KOLBENSCHLAG
Paonia

The status of the family model should be a real wake-up call to all

Regarding the column by George Will on July 6; he really hit the nail on the head! If young people follow a proper/logical/responsible sequence in their lives it would lead to a very (enjoyable and) successful life. His recommendations to young people are: “First – At least get a high school diploma (get an education); Second – Get a job (a good one, not in a fast-food shop); Third – Get married; and Fourth – only then have children.” Wow! What an idea. God’s plan for all of us.

“One problem today,” W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia says, “is the soul-mate model of marriage” ‘a self-centered approach that regards marriage primarily as an opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment rather than as a way to form a family. In healthy societies, basic values and social arrangements are not much thought about (that’s just the way it is.).”

What an idea! How many of our societal woes could be avoided by following this sequence? How many good, stable, and happy families would we have? Families are the backbone of every nation and the status of the family is a real wake-up call to all.

CAROL ANDERSON
Collbran

Watching recent news more like taking in a NASCAR race

Several weeks ago we had Mika and Joe insulting the president because he insulted them because they insulted him. This week we have the news media bashing the president for bashing them for bashing him.

Do you ever get the feeling we are all watching a never-ending NASCAR race instead of real news?

L.W. HUNLEY
Grand Junction

We have a spoiled child leading our country right over a cliff

Donald Trump may have thought that, if he were to be elected, he would govern as an emperor. That’s giving him too much credit for actually thinking things out and making a plan.

He has, all his adult life, been removed from the lives of regular people. He has run his business as a dictator supported by his father’s money when Donald made bad deals and ran out of money. He has always been in the drivers seat with people he dealt with because they wanted the business and were willing to put up with Trump’s juvenile character. He is a child who knows that others want to play in his yard and he has total control over that yard. He only lets in those who massage his ego and with whom he can take advantage of their dependency on his whims.

Now he has been elected and with no well thought out plan he is governing strictly by his character and all its spoiled childish habits. All of that is well understood but why are our citizens and those they elected allowing him to rule as an emperor, or even a dictator? Why are we supporting his close and extended families? Why are we allowing him to appoint and utilize family, at our expense, when those family members have no experience whatever in governance?

Is this the emperor with his court populated by only those who he can fully trust, most of whom are family? It appears that, in his mind, those things don’t matter. He’s the sole decision maker. He has, on many occasions, forcefully reminded people that he was elected president. Unsaid is his apparent belief the president doesn’t have to live by the rules and laws the rest of us have to live by.

We have a spoiled child “leading” our country right over a cliff and we are acting exactly like lemmings.

JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Mr. Hunley,

The difference is that in NASCAR, they only turn left.

Ms. Anserson I won’t quibble with any of Will’s ideas except the last one. We seem to apparently have quite an oversupply of people. In today’s free market people are a commodity , not individuals with unique qualities. If businesses are able to hire people in apparent large quantities at prices that are far below “replacement costs” there are obviously too many units in that commodity. Conservatives seem to agree. They seem ready to discontinue supplements that might perpetuate the commodity and make balancing the supply a little closer to break even. The millions currently having health insurance, but who will soon lose it, are units that will be allowed to dissipate, so to speak, to thin the herd. A brutal, but effective way to help those still in the commodity.
But on the other end of the supply chain many conservatives now seem to want to do away with contraception and Planned parenthood. I guess families with children will be saved, albeit in excessive numbers, to maintain lowest possible labor costs. Seems like a strange way to deal with a problem and then take steps to undo it at the same time, though. You are a devout Christian. Is this the Christian way in action? All of it?

Ms. Anderson, not Anserson. Sorry for the typo.

Mr. Iles. Yep. It’s follow the leaders and don’t worry about the wrecks.

Well, the current leader is certainly a wreck. We’re just hoping he doesn’t start a chain reaction that takes out every driver in the field.

Mr. Iles Might not be a bad idea considering the leadership we now have in both parties.

Right, because electing an outsider has worked so well so far.

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