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Originally addressed to Rep. Kathleen Curry

On Thursday, March 12, the Grand Junction and Rifle chambers of commerce chartered a bus of more than 50 individual business owners to travel to Denver to specifically visit the Legislature so you and other members of the House could hear their voices prior to the vote on the COGCC rules (HB 1292).

Upon arrival at the Capitol, we were told you were not “taking cards,” which means you were not speaking to anyone during the session that day, or at least while HB 1292 was being debated on the floor.



I found it disheartening, as did our business owners, that a legislator, especially one who represents a district that would be greatly affected by your decision on the COGCC rules, would refuse to speak to concerned business owners who traveled 250 miles specifically to speak with you, as well as our other legislators.

When making your decision on how you would vote on this issue, you told many people the only constituents you were hearing from were those who supported the rules.



It is our opinion those were the only ones you chose to listen to. Our business owners simply wanted you to hear their stories before you cast your vote. Our Grand Junction and Rifle business owners deserved at least a moment of your time as our elected official, and you refused to speak with them.

We appreciate the other legislators, including those from outside our district, who took the time to listen to our business owners, even if it was only for a few moments, and wish you would have extended our business owners the same courtesy.

Annick Pruett, president/CEO

Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce

Shari Neuroth, chairman of the Board

Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce

Cheryl Chandler, president

Silt Chamber of Commerce

Much can be and is being done at the federal level to sustain consumption and investment, thereby fighting unemployment. The Federal Reserve is increasing the money supply, and Congress and the president are increasing government spending.

There is also something all workers and business owners can do to fight unemployment, and that is to reduce their wages and prices. Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom is this is undesirable because it is “deflationary.”

Well, yes, but deflation in the economy is a symptom of economic ill health ” and also a partial cure for it ” just as a fever is both a symptom and a cure for many human illnesses.

The common concern is consumers and businesses will defer spending if they think prices will be substantially less in the future. But with modest deflation that is unlikely to persist for more than a year or so, people have an incentive to use their available cash to consume and invest now, at “bargain” prices.

Far from this “bargain shopping” taking advantage of people, it keeps people employed and buying each others’ products to their mutual advantage. By countering the inflation that eventually follows from government stimulus measures, it permits the stimulus measures to be more vigorous, and is therefore complementary with them.

Carl Ted Stude

Carbondale

In his March 18 letter, Michael Logan urges citizens and lawmakers to spend stimulus package (more aptly termed “confiscated wealth that our children will pay off”) money on rail and mass transit. The reasoning given is such spending will decrease CO2 emissions and reduce demand for foreign oil.

Well, this is one shibboleth that certainly needs to be laid to rest. According to the United States Department of Transportation, mass transit in the form of light rail and motor buses both emit far more CO2 than a Toyota Prius per passenger mile ” 0.36, 0.71 and 0.26 pounds respectively.

If we really want convenient, personal and environmentally-friendly transportation, we should allow the building of sufficient nuclear, solar and hydro sources of electricity, update the grid and continue developing hybrid vehicles.

In the meantime, domestic sources of carbon-based fuels should be allowed to be recovered for no other reason than national security. Of course, the resulting high-paying jobs, price stability and decreased trade deficit are also beneficial.

Why waste any more of the taxpayers’ money on rail and bus transit projects? If they are economically feasible, private industry can build them and run them. The result of current government support of transit projects is not acceptable. According to Clifford Winston and Vikram Maheshri, writing in the Journal of Urban Economics, “With the single exception of BART in the San Francisco area, every U.S. (rail) transit system reduces social welfare.” Another $500 million is not going to change that.

Michael K. Stahl

Carbondale


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