'Float all boats' rhetoric drowns the middle class
If eliminating consumer protections and reducing taxes on the already well-to-do was truly a formula for economic stimulation, this recession would have been impossible.
It is truly mind-boggling that so many who are the biggest losers in this tragic fiasco can be duped into continuing to support this bumper-sticker logic so gleefully funded by those very few who actually have benefited from the Machiavellian assault on the middle class.
How can senseless adherence to this ridiculous mantra, which has been proven utterly false, do anything but continue to plunge this decreasingly great nation further into the New Economic Dark Age?
Trickle-down is a lie. The United States became the world's greatest economic engine when the buying power of the masses was increased. Those who own the political players whose rhetoric ceaselessly screams that increasing the flow of money to the very top will "float all boats" would do well to enjoy their shortsightedness while it lasts.
For, when the people who make the shoes cannot afford to buy a pair, there is no market — the golden-egg laying goose slain in the name of selfish short-term profits.
To insist that those who have gained the most owe nothing to the society whose sweat and enterprise has enabled their enormous wealth is an evil absurdity.
Recovery, obviously, lies in nothing less than shoring up the foundation and broadening the middle. If this happens, everyone benefits. If this does not happen, all are doomed.
What a shame. I just got back from looking at a neat little automobile at a local dealership.
Actually, I didn't spend much time looking after I spotted a suspicious $995 item on the sticker. When I asked, the salesman told me that that was "a market availability adder."
In other words, these guys were asking $5 short of an extra $1,000 over full MSRP, plus other questionable add-ons.
When I told the salesman that I thought that was an awful business practice, he told me, "we're just trying to make the most of a business opportunity."
Well, they won't make anything from me. I'll sure give the semi-retired owner an earful about this pricing policy next time I run into him. And, I'm going to suggest that the dealership should fire that arrogant little "lot lizard" I dealt with.
Save the echo makers
One gray fall day several years ago, I was working in my study when a strange noise drew me outside. Deep rolling wild voices filled the air and rattled around in my woods. A mass of huge birds slid across the sky, their long necks and legs extended, their guttural cries bouncing up from the ground.
I realized this was the migration of the sandhill cranes — the echo makers, as the Indians called them. Their sound was electrifying, a cry straight from the ancient American wilderness, and their long cross shapes shadowing over me suggested its mysterious force still lives among us.
These are extraordinary birds — not just in their size and beauty, but in their devotion and wisdom. It is an honor to have their great flocks migrate through Kentucky — a migration treated as a grand spectacle of nature elsewhere. Tennessee has sandhill crane festivals and celebrations, attracting tourists and revenue to the state.
I can't imagine that letting 400 of these astonishing birds be hunted and killed in Kentucky, to make hunters happy, could compare with the delight and excitement and pride that so many of us feel as we witness their safe and peaceful passage through our commonwealth.
We can't have it both ways. We can love them or we can kill them — salute them in peace and harmony as our fellow creatures passing through, or pick off 400 of them to provide trophies for a few of us to brag about.
Susan Starr Richards
Two friends of mine, an elderly couple, born and raised in Kentucky, both now retired, are wondering why there would be a hunting season for sandhill cranes.
In the winter they travel in their trailer to St. Cloud, Fla. They stay at Lake Tahoe Resort. They both enjoy fishing, and after they fish one of the pleasures they have is feeding the cranes that would be open to hunting this fall. They just whistle and the cranes come to their campsite and they feed them.
The cranes are tame, well-mannered and beautiful to see. Their flight is extraordinary and, after landing, they are real interesting to watch. They are paired for life and take excellent care of their young.
They are extremely clean. Their food consists of anything below ground; they use their long beaks to forage. One thing they like is mole crickets.
Why shoot them? They pose no danger to humans. They only give us some beauty in this not-so-pretty world.
I am an avid hunter and feel we have enough other animals to hunt.
I read that Kentucky and Tennessee were economically equal some 30 years ago. Then Tennessee moved ahead and now is twice as strong as Kentucky. What happened? What can be done?
If Lexington is the "Most Sedentary City in America" a lot needs to be done. People should get off their seats and move. Couches, sofas, easy chairs and loungers should be abandoned, action promoted.
I propose using half of all church property for laboratories, research centers, think tanks and other productivity-geared enterprises. Church property stands vacant several days a week and then is used for praying, preaching and singing — all spiritual, non-productive rituals. Endless study of holy books and religious traditions will not bring in the bread.
Kentuckians need to read what Ben Franklin wrote about Christians' right to make money. They need to read Max Weber on the economics of work versus waste. Maybe they should study economists Adam Smith, John Kenneth Galbraith and Alan Keynes.
Still don't know what to do? Then try what former University of Kentucky President Lee T. Todd Jr. does — improve, invent, develop and sell. Progress requires transformation, change, development and resolution. Being sedentary does not fill the bill.
I often hear that America is the richest country in the world, the strongest, the best. And Douglas MacArthur in 1928, when he was president of the American Olympic Committee, said, "Americans never quit."
What exactly is the ailment in Lexington and in Kentucky — sedentary, satisfying, self-imposed, senility?
We don't need a bully
State Senate President David Williams features "toughness" in campaign ads. While being tough may work in junior high, many Kentuckians would forego "toughness" for someone with sensible ideas to move our state forward.
Kentuckians need someone with the intellectual heft required to run our state, not some "bully from Burkesville" who finds himself still playing "king of the hill" with the rest of the state GOP.
Norman E. Goldie Jr.