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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Thank you, Mary Boland and the Post Independent, for addressing the neglected subject of U.S. wealth distribution. I’d like to add to Mary’s March 10 column.

According to William Domhoff of UC Santa Cruz, the richest 10 percent of Americans own 34.6 percent of national net worth and 42.7 percent of financial wealth. (Financial wealth is essentially investment assets, while net worth also counts equity in personal homes.)

The next 19 percent own just over half of both net worth and financial wealth. The remaining 80 percent own 15 percent of net worth and 7 percent of financial wealth.

Perhaps more shocking, America’s richest 1 percent own 49.7 percent of investment assets. while 8/10 of us share a mere 12 percent and the poorest 100 million Americans have a net worth of zero. See sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html for details.

Excepting NPR and PBS, U.S. wealth distribution is rarely mentioned by popular media; media which are of course, part of the investment assets owned mostly by the wealthy.

Not surprisingly, Congress is under considerable pressure to defund public broadcasting in the upcoming budget. Intelligent people at opposite ends of the political spectrum seem to agree that America’s economy has gone morally away.

Republican champion for smaller government Congressman Ron Paul says, “I believe in free markets, but this distribution of wealth is not a normal distribution in any way. . . It can only exist within an unnatural (non-free) system, where the relative nature of freedom is constrained.”

Progressive Democrat and filmmaker Michael Moore recently said, “Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe, so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. . . The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.”

I join Mary Boland in asking whether we want things to be this way.

Ron Kokish

Carbondale

This letter is in reference to the March 9 Post Independent article detailing plans for the Parachute drilling pad.

As a concerned citizen, it was so refreshing to read the plans in place by Williams. They will use a closed system. They plan to recycle cuttings and do responsible environmental restoration. This could certainly set a standard for drilling on Battlement Mesa and Silt Mesa by Antero and other companies.

Independent observation of this drilling operation by county commissioners, opposing alliances and other vocal minority groups should convince them that our responsible local companies have in place safety measures to protect residents.

I will reserve any decision or comment on the air quality report now on the table until I see readings of emissions taken at various distances from this pad. It will have a lot more bearing on the practicality of drilling on the mesas. The readings will be taken, won’t they?

In the interest of our county employment and area welfare, we can wait for the results, can’t we?

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa


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