Printed Letters: October 4, 2016

New leadership can turn county around

In the Sunday paper, Sheriff Lewis says that it is time for Mesa County to begin rebuilding. Rebuilding requires new thinking. New thinking requires a new vision. If we are going to have a new vision in Mesa County, we need new commissioners that have a broader vision of what is to come than our current commissioners have.

With this in mind, I believe it is time that we take a serious look at whether the two commissioners that are up for re-election represent the past, or the future. I believe that it is time that we elect Mel Mulder and Dave Edwards as fresh-idea, forward-thinking representatives of you and me, who are not just in it for themselves or for the extractive industries.

If we desire Mesa County to move forward, we must have broadband, we must have livable wage, at least $12 an hour now with an objective of $15 to $17 within a few years. We must have excellent schools, and increased transportation access to the rest of the world.

With new leadership it is likely that we can turn the county around and make this an even better place to live and work. But, we need to look at the future, and not repeat the past, a past of boom and bust.

Grand Junction

Put Trump’s role as a 
‘businessman’ into perspective

Some people have promoted Donald Trump for president as a businessman. That needs to be put into perspective. The Trump empire is privately held. That means it may not have a board of directors and, if it does, the board consists of family members and carefully chosen friends. Should Mr. Trump be elected, he will be the chief executive with two boards of directors: the 435 members of the House of Representatives and the 100 members of the Senate.

Even presidents with the own party majority in both houses of Congress have discovered dealing with them is not easy. It is much more difficult if the majority in either side of Congress is of the opposite party. Mr. Trump would face an additional difficulty. Republican conservatives have pointed out that many of Mr. Trump’s proposed policies are actually progressive. So he would have to deal with members of his own party who do not share his views and values, particularly the Freedom Caucus.

The power of the president is severely restricted in many ways as opposed to the chief executive of a privately held company. Mr. Trump’s appointees to key positions in the government, as an example, would have to be confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Trump’s national budget, which he would propose, would certainly be modified by the House. Further, the president of the United States and the Congress have to deal with a large number, a very large number, of stakeholders including special interest groups who often resort to legal challenges.

Finally, the bureaucracy of the federal government is large and almost impossible to manage, much less change. I say all of this as a former president and CEO of an aerospace company. Good luck, Mr. Trump!


Grand Junction

Raising the minimum wage actually creates jobs

Raising the minimum wage actually creates jobs, as proven by previous raises. Businesses hire only the number of employees needed to provide the goods or services they provide – no more, no less.

When business picks up, they hire. When business falls off, they lay off employees, as we currently see in the oil and gas industry. When the minimum wage rises, people naturally have more money to spend, which causes business to hire to keep up with the increased demand.

It is important for minimum wage workers to get out and vote. They will improve their lives, and the lives of others.


CareerWise Colorado
attributes success to partners

CareerWise Colorado is committed to bringing access to youth apprenticeships to communities across the state, including Grand Junction and Mesa County. But our work would not be successful without the committed support of partners on the ground, like Mesa County School District 51, local workforce centers and the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has particularly become a champion for this work, convening businesses working groups to develop pathways. All of these groups have worked to build a local coalition of thought leaders in this work. They are promoting the voices of business leaders while ensuring that apprentices will have opportunities to gain skills they need to build meaningful careers and all local businesses will have access to the talent they need to grow.  Our success depends on their investments.



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Because Ernie Stech is only partially correct in outlining the institutional constraints on a potential Trump presidency (“Put Trump’s role as a ‘businessman’ in perspective”), we dare not minimize the profound damage “the Donald” could still do if somehow elected. 

First, Donald Trump is not the exemplary “businessman” that he claims to be, much less the paragon of entrepreneurial success that his zealous supporters still gullibly believe he is.

Rather, “Trump has benefited financially from raping, pillaging and bankrupting other businesses and suppliers as well as ripping off taxpayers and government”.  See, e.g.,:

Second, whatever constraints might theoretically be available to a responsible Congress would nevertheless have less practical effect in the areas of foreign policy and the use of force – leaving it to a reluctant State Department and/or an “insubordinate” Joint Chiefs of Staff to thwart Trump’s impulsive reactions to perceived slights or “provocations”. We have already seen how easily Bush/Cheney were able to evade such “constraints” to invade Iraq.
Third, given the already proven irresponsibility of a Republican-controlled Congress, we should expect the Freedom Caucus to load-up House appropriations bills with pet “poison pills” and the Senate to eliminate the Democratic minority’s ability to filibuster them – so that Trump can repeal ObamaCare and implement more tax cuts for the already wealthy.

Fourth, Stech grossly underestimates the extent to which Trump’s likely rubber-stamped political “appointments to key positions in the government” could perversely contaminate “the bureaucracy” – not to mention our judicial system.  “Trump has sunk a pump into the lowest strata of the American psyche and dredged or sucked up its worst, most reprehensible elements, and mainstreamed them, promoting them as real Americans, as the people for whom he will make America great.  This includes racists, misogynists, white supremacists, Anti-Semites, Islamophobes, Homophobes and every other hate demographic you care to mention.”

Fifth, we would also have a Vice-President who has supported discrimination based on spurious but “sincerely held” religious beliefs, the New Testament notwithstanding.

Therefore, we should also put Trump’s role as a con artist in proper perspective as well.

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