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April 17, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Learning to do more with less

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The Perfect Storm! Not the one that hit the Eastern Seaboard, the catastrophic financial recession of 2008. It was the result of a convergence of at least three systems. Deregulation was the first system, allowing financial institutions to pursue their greed unharnessed. The second was our increasing obsession with spending — living way beyond our means by buying bigger gas-guzzling vehicles, larger homes and maxing out our credit cards. Our incomes have far outstripped the rest of the world, resulting in massive outsourcing and, segueing into the third system, the emergence of the global economy.

With only 5 percent of the planet’s population, we have been consuming more than 30 percent of the global pie. Worldwide economic expansion has led to competition for relatively limited world resources. Our share of the pie is increasingly reduced. If our consumption is reduced from 30 percent to 15 percent, although still three times our proportionate “share,” that would still be a reduction of 50 percent of our past supply, seriously affecting our standard of living.

We need to get used to better conservation and doing more with less. Do we Americans have the grit to handle the impending lifestyle changes? And do we have the collective wisdom to make intelligent choices for the use of our funds?

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  1. Andy plays fast & loose with the facts. It was not "deregulation" that created the "bubble." It can be directly linked to two Dumbocrats: Senator Chris Dodd & Congressman Barney Frank, chairmen of the Senate & House Banking Committees, respectively. They are the ones responsible for forcing, no, make that, blackmailing, financial institutions who were housing lenders into making spurious loans that took our ecomony into the toilet. "Deregulation" is a good thing; it allows for more competition - not less - and competition is what brings prices down. Anyone noticed how the price of HDTV sets have fallen in the past few years or, how about, computers for example? Ever heard of the "value menu" at many restaurants or the "2-fer" offers? How about Sears challenging JCPenney's or Dillard's facing off against Macy's? That's competition at work. It's what makes America work, along with our ethics, honesty and drive to succeed. So quit the "malarky" about deregulation being the culprit. Look to government bureaucrats, elected or not, who try to "level" the playing field or play at choosing "winner & losers" or practice "crony capitalism" as the true enemy.

  2. An excellent letter.
    Another huge factor in the current mess in which both Americans and Canadians find themselves is obscene government overspending.
    Politicians in order to get elected promise to spare us any pain, but that is impossible. Both your government and mine are spending roughly 40 per cent more each year than they take in, allegedly to "smooth things out" until our economies boom again and revenues surge.
    I honestly don't believe that is going to happen, and in the unlikely event that it did, I further believe that our politicians will simply spend any surplus funds.
    Hard times are inevitable. No esteemed economist is capable of convincing me that overspending is sound policy.
    I truly hope that America takes the plunge over the fiscal cliff in January. In my gut I believe that is the best first step toward true economic recovery. Every citizen is going to have to be willing to sacrifice something over the near term in order to get America's and Canada's books permanently balanced.

    Donald W. Desaulniers (FromBellevilleCanada)

  3. We enjoy a planet that is giving us everything. Including life. Unless your life is threaten we sometimes take all that we have for granted.

    The earth will be here long after we are gone and we need to be better custodians of this planets in taking the resources from this great planet. For many of the earth resources are helping others overcome difficulties they cannot control.

    It is with a sincere hope that this planet's resources are helping fellow Americans like ReFreeman and others who face challenges to their health.

    At the end of each day we all need each other, we all need this planet.

  4. Having a commission based financial system was a major factor in the economic collapse. The creation of nearly a quadtrillion dollars in financial assets and derivatives. The reason people were able to get home loans in the hundreds of thousands of dollars with no income verification is because the originators and banks wanted the commissions.

    I huge portion of government spending goes for medical care. Neither the Canadians nor the Americans would be able to come close to covering their medical needs if the money had to come out of their own pockets. A couple days in the hospital would wipe out the life savings of most American families.

    We need to kick our healthcare system and the financial services industry to the curb and start over again. Since the widespread use of derivatives began several decades ago this country has endured the 1987 stock market crash, the NASDAQ bubble and the current fiasco. These events have wiped out the financial assets of millions and millions of Americans.

    Healthcare costs are a major cause of bankruptcy and financial hardship. Future medical in this country could come close to $200 trillion in the next 40 years. Those bills will suck people dry in record numbers as the country ages.

    Americans will be forced to live with less whether they like it or not. A huge portion of our GDP will be going to healthcare alone. People will have very little money for anything else.

  5. We have an obligation to preserve and protect all God's resources and pass them along to future generations in a like manner as we received them.

    CarmineD

  6. Andy, get over the super-imposed quilt. While we are 6% of the global population, we consume more because we ship it all overseas. We send it out by every means possible and destroy our own economy--foreign aide, military aid, bases in every port and airport, free RX for Africa (AIDs, maleria, cholera, vaccines and medications). How would we expect our economy to whimper back to functioning when we import millions of uneducated self-absorbed illegals who drain our social welfare programs (federal, state, county, SD, city, tribal), drain our non-profits, eat up ALL OUR DONATIONS, ignore our seniors, overwhelm K-12 and universities, and then turn to CRIME FOR CASH cash THEY want more, they have "needs."

  7. Europeans live better than we do, very well--nice homes with heat and a/c. Lots of education. Lots of programs and assistance. Little if any demands on citizens to serve.... Longer life expectancies. Lower retirement ages. Shorter work weeks. Here's a clue: SMALLER FAMILIES, fewer kids so families can thrive. Illegals are NOT TOLERATED. And they spend very little on defense.