Tuesday letters: lend a hand, pull together, tax cut folly
Help out our at-risk neighbors
On Feb. 29 I received a kidney transplant. With the coronavirus coming on strong, I could have picked a better time to have my immune system down around my ankles. But I’m much healthier than before and haven’t felt this good in 30 years.
But I’m a lucky guy with a family support system that’s nothing short of fantastic. Unfortunately, there are many senior citizens in our communities that aren’t so lucky. For most people the virus poses no more risk than the flu. But for those in the high risk category, the virus could prove fatal.
So I appeal to our communities to reach out to our vulnerable relatives and neighbors and friends. Wear a mask and go shopping for them or pick up a prescription or whatever.
No one needs to be carting off 100 rolls of toilet paper or three-month supplies of anything. Soon supplies will catch up with demand, and when they do, all you end-of-days stocker-uppers stay home and let people who need those goods have access. Stores would be wise to put limits of three to a customer on scarce items. In the meantime every one needs to stop acting crazy.
I’m fortunate to have optimum circumstances. There are many in our communities who aren’t so lucky. Make yourself feel good and reach out to our elders. You could save a life.
Hang in there — together
At a time when our president is treating an ongoing pandemic as if it’s all about him; when he is providing us with comprehensive misinformation (think about those two words for a minute); when he is identifying (or manufacturing) opportunities to deflect blame for shortcomings while taking credit for anything that might be spun into a positive, it is tempting to write another spoof about him.
However, as much as we may need some humor at this moment, I’m going to resist that urge — and note, instead, that we live in a remarkable time. With “social distancing” being recommended by state and local leaders, medical experts, newscasters, talk-show hosts, and anyone else with a soap box and some advice to offer, we could become isolated from each other — especially if this continues for a long time.
Thanks to the availability of modern communications technology, that doesn’t need to happen. We can check on neighbors, contact family members in distant cities, or communicate with friends and business people halfway around the world — without exposing each other to infection.
That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. There is already far more separation, divisiveness and isolation in this country than is good for us. We really don’t have to let this push us farther apart — especially when we have the wherewithal to stay in touch and support each other.
With that in mind, we need to pick up our phones and talk with someone. Write an email, send a text message, post on social media, or send up a smoke signal — maybe even share a bit of humor. Then do it again …
Stock crash underscores tax-cut folly
The stock market crash associated with the coronavirus highlights yet another of Trump’s follies, that being his much-celebrated tax cuts.
Donald Trump inherited a healthy economy, recovered from the ’08 recession and growing in all sectors.
Obama’s American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 started the longest period of economic growth in the history of the United States. with GDP growth ranging from 1.6% to 2.9% a year while Obama was in office.
Trump wanting to one up Obama, decided that such healthy and sustainable growth was just not enough and in a rehash of trickle-down economics gave short-term tax cuts to the middle class equivalent to a big screen TV for each family and tax cuts to corporations and wealthy individuals of about $2 trillion. Corporations spent their savings buying back company stock, and wealthy individuals invested in the stock market. None of this increased the GDP past 2.9%, which hit the same peak in the Obama administration. Additionally 8.1 million jobs were created in the last three years of the Obama administration versus 6.5 million jobs in the first three years of the Trump administration. All of Obama’s last three years of job growth beat Trump’s best year of job growth.
Under Trump’s economic policies the national debt grew at an unprecedented rate and the rich got richer.
Fast forward to today the coronavirus caused a 20% market crash as did the financial and real estate bust of 2008, the 9/11 related market crisis of 2001 and the Black Monday of 1987 before that. While nobody can predict such market fluctuations such drops are inevitable.
Trump’s “supercharged” market had further to fall.
The $2 trillion American taxpayers gave to wealthy investors is gone up in smoke, the wealthy are still wealthy and future generations of the middle class are left to deal with additional trillions in debt.
The “Wall” is a fence, and the world’s greatest con-artist is up for re-election.
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