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2021 review

The year has been a series of tragic government failures.

China and Russia, now undeterred, are threatening the invasion of their neighbors; Iran is building a nuclear weapon; 39 million Afghans are now enslaved by the ruthless Taliban.

A million mostly unskilled and semi-literate people have crossed into the U.S. in violation of law. Among them are terrorists, gang members, sex and drug traders, etc. all untested and unvaccinated.

COVID has continued to diminish every aspect of life and yet many refuse vaccination. Crime is rampant and here is no fix in sight. Fires blazed across the West and no plans are afoot to prevent a repeat.

An additional insult is reflected by a Penn Wharton study released Dec. 15 that indicates that in 2021 inflation will have cost the average family of four $3,500. The cause depends on who you ask.

It can get worse; in 1981 mortgage rates climbed to 18%. Creating more dollars by adopting multi-trillion dollar government programs may insure a repeat.

I did not like Trump, but most of this mess was under control during his time in office.

John M. Moore

Eagle Point

Build back better

How do you care for your family? You take your kids to the eye doctor so they can see to read, to the dentist so they can smile and eat and to school so they can better their lives. If you had the money or could burrow it, you would make sure they were healthy, safe and productive.

Like our own households, our country needs to invest in its people. Our nation is guided by its moral principles and we care for our people.

When I hear people say they object to public spending based on their principles, I would question them. What are their principles?

A healthy thriving household doesn’t necessarily lead to debt, but even if it does, who would say it wasn’t worth it?

Tom Espinosa

Medford

A penny for your thoughts

“A penny for your thoughts,” my grandmother often said.

And now, a penny so without real value that our government mint tells us it costs more to make and distribute than it is worth. Yet it is still with us, part of our daily lives because those who study marketing know many will buy at a $1.99 price but resist a $2 price, suggesting we are less than rational.

We would hope the common good is a rational concept easily understood. Like the penny, many of us confuse value and price.

The value of respecting the welfare of those with whom we interact should be obvious. When we infect those around us, with disease, irrational fear or dogma, we threaten the common good. That threat leads to actions that can reduce us to that state of nature where anarchy reigns.

We can strive to allow the “better angels of our nature” to guide us. We should. For the common good.

Walter Thorp

Medford

Confused

I am confused about what some call human-caused climate change. Our globe’s vast ice sheets began their retreat 19,000 years ago. The Holocene started with abrupt warming 11,700 years ago. During those epochs the number of coal-fired power plants and SUVs was low. So what happened? Did those Neanderthals make really big campfires?

Hubert Smith

Jacksonville

Biden misses opportunity

When Biden announced his decision in November to release oil reserves, after begging the OPEC+ countries to increase production to temporarily keep gas prices down, the timing displayed the blatant hypocrisy of going to Glasgow to discuss fighting climate change.

The president instead could have delivered an urgent call for Americans to respond to the reality of climate change by choosing alternate modes of transportation, and reducing energy usage.

He could have explained the economic principle of supply and demand, and that carbon pricing is exactly what many climate change experts are recommending to accelerate the transition to a net zero fossil fuel economy.

Enabling current fossil fuel consumption levels to keep the GDP up is the wrong direction for the global economy to be going. Fossil fuel activity really needs to go much, much lower than pandemic levels. We should be focusing instead on changing the drivers of GDP. Maintaining the status quo is what put us in this climate change crisis.

He has missed an opportunity to truly shift the trajectory of the ship of the economy. We cannot delay making this shift any longer. Future generations require us to do what is necessary to live sustainably.

Flavia Franco

Ashland