Money is not the only measure of growth

The United States and most of the world measures economic growth by the Gross Domestic Product. A study made by the Australia National University in 2013 indicated that per-capita income was a little over $3,000 in 1950 and soared to about $11,000 by 2013. That is impressive when the only measure you use is money.

However the study then factored in a welfare check of human beings. They labeled that welfare check Genuine Progress Indicator or GPI. This took in factors like inequality and pollution that take a toll on our well-being. Utilizing this measure, per capita income was at $2,000 in 1950 and less than $3,000 by 2013!

Now in 2019, New Zealand has become the first nation to formally drop GDP as their measure of economic success. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the budget would no longer maximize GDP but instead maximize well-being. Aside from schools, hospitals and roads, budgets would be allocated according to their impact of five government priorities: Mental health, child well-being, inequalities of indigenous people, building a nation adapted to the digital age and fashioning a low emissions economy.

New Zealand has been followed by Bolivia and Ecuador. There is increasing alarm in the world that this planet may not survive unless we greatly reduce fossil fuels and repair our damaged ecosystem. A skyrocketing GDP would be meaningless if in the course of amassing huge amounts of money in the world the planet is destroyed.

Maybe we need to rethink what in life is really important and abandon GDP.

TOM HEFFERNAN

Ridgway

Tipton rival reasserts that he voted for amnesty

Congressman Tipton’s terrible vote for the Farm Workforce Modernization Act highlights why I will win the Republican nomination.

While I appreciate the need to solve our agricultural workforce needs, that starts with securing the border and not with providing amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

The Heritage Foundation called the bill, “foremost an illegal immigration bill that would provide amnesty for millions of illegal agricultural workers — and their spouses and children.”

Ken Buck and Doug Lamborn, Colorado’s other two Republican representatives in Congress, voted against the bill because, like me, they disagree with it.

Rep. Buck said the bill, “opens the door to a massive amnesty.” The bill also requires taxpayers to fork over $1 billion for farm worker housing. Congressman Tipton joining Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 224 other Democrats to vote for it also undermines President Trump’s border security efforts. Why in the world would Democrats ever negotiate with the President when they are already getting what they want? Scott Tipton would have never received the Republican nomination in any of his elections had he campaigned on a pro-amnesty platform. Scott Tipton and the Sentinel can claim all they want that he didn’t vote for amnesty. For those who disagree, I’m your candidate.

LAUREN BOEBERT

Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District

Rifle

You shouldn’t be in business if you can’t pay a decent wage

“Telling it like it is” became really popular a few years ago, so here goes.

From the perspective of a business owner for nearly 30 years, if you can’t afford to pay your employees a living wage, you probably shouldn’t be in business.

DAN EDWARDS

Grand Junction

Why not convert Craig station to geothermal or gas-fired?

After reading about the closing of Tri-State’s Moffat County operations and the low price of natural gas, I wonder why this lose-lose situation cannot be turned into a win-win by local cooperation.

From 1981 to 1992, I worked drilling and completing dry steam geothermal wells at “The Geysers” in northern California.

They would build small efficient 55-megawatt power plants and drill the supply wells within a 1- to 1½-mile radius of the plant (because the steam would cool too much at longer distances.) Even today, The Geysers generates 700-plus megawatts of energy.

I am wondering why the same approach cannot be used here in western Colorado. Either convert Tri-State’s large Moffat County generating plant to natural gas or build small 20- to 55-megawatt plants in the Piceance and Craig areas of Colorado and use the plentiful local gas supplies for power generation. Other areas like the Permian Basin could follow suit as well. Natural gas is a very clean burning fossil fuel and could supplement our clean energy when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind isn’t blowing.

M. TODD MISKEL

Grand Junction

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