Printed letters, Dec. 21, 2010

‘Olden days’ were far better in many respects

Is it a blessing or a burden to live long enough to reminisce about the “olden days”? Somehow, I survived before government began making our critical decisions for us.

✓ As an infant, my parents weren’t advised not to put a plastic bag over my head.

✓ As a toddler, they weren’t reminded to remove me from the stroller before folding it up.

✓ As a youth, I had no bike helmet or kneepads.

✓ As a student at school, “God” was in the pledge and “Christmas” was a proclaimed holiday.

✓ As an athlete, it was not unsportsmanlike to keep score.

✓ As a youth, military service was an obligation and source of pride.

Early TV was bearable, not obnoxious, like “The Simpsons” and Geico or Capital One commercials.

Mediocrity, not achievement, has become the norm in school systems: Eliminating valedictorian honors avoids offending underachievers while teacher tenure protects subpar teachers from termination.

Remember the excitement for college football bowl games when the nation’s 10 best teams played in five major games? Now, with 34 bowls, many inferior teams are among the 68 participants.

In the “olden days,” presidents exhibited pride by praising our nation, not disdain by dissing it. And first ladies sponsored worthy causes instead of deeming parents incapable of choosing what children should eat. Many congressional representatives were role models, respected for their service. Was there ever a past national legislature with a “disapproval rating” of 70 percent?

Now retired, I resent government interference in my life, but I’m still a proud American, free to speak and free to worship. The November election proved that I’m one of a multitude of citizens who will continue to fight for the constitutional freedoms to which we are entitled. We simply refuse to be “dumbed down!”


Government is not only entity that is wasteful

A tip of my hat to R.M. Sherman for his Dec. 10 letter to the editor headlined “Wealthy create jobs, stimulate economy.” Wow.

Especially noteworthy are his simple one-to-one formulae at the end: “Profits = jobs. Taxes = government waste.” We all know how wasteful government is, don’t we.

Also noteworthy are his examples of this era’s financial celebrity icon Warren Buffett’s rescuing of failing firms and the Facebook founder’s creating over 400 engineering jobs while accumulating his fortune. Let’s see, some rough figuring shows that, for the likely cost of each job created (about $70,000), over 100 times as much was reaped in revenue-wealth created. Wow. Very efficient business practice.

Using this same efficiency ratio of 100 to minimum-wage employee costs, the wasteful government costs to create jobs for the 9.8 percent unemployed (about 15 million people) would be over $22 trillion.



Wagner is incorrect that rich are overtaxed

This is in response to Rick Wagner’s contention that the rich are being overtaxed. In fact, the opposite is true.

Wagner misses the obvious: The rich are being taxed more because they are amassing an increasingly disproportionate share of the wealth.

I suggest that Wagner read “Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer — And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class,” by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson. The authors write that in 2007, the top 25 hedge-fund managers raked in $892 million on average. Through a tax loophole, the managers paid only the capital gains tax at the rate of 15 percent on this income.

In 1965, the average CEO of a large U.S. corporation made around 24 times the earnings of a typical worker. By 2007, average CEO pay was approaching 300 times typical earnings.

Now I understand why Carmelo Anthony won’t sign for $15 million a year. On that he couldn’t afford to live in the best neighborhoods.


Grand Junction

Eastgate isn’t adequate to host a Costco store

In response to Therese Luellen’s letter asking readers to e-mail Costco asking them to build a store in Eastgate Shopping Center, I would encourage all potential letter writers to visit at least one Costco location (such as the one in Gypsum) before writing.

It will quickly become apparent that the Eastgate location might be large enough to hold the store, but there would be no room for parking.

These stores have huge footprints and massive parking lots and create significant traffic. Eastgate is nowhere large enough for them, nor is there adequate access on existing roadways.

I’d love to see a Costco here in Grand Junction, but the site needs to be chosen carefully and there just isn’t adequate space or access at Eastgate.


Grand Junction


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