Cheap oil won't last much longer
A recession has followed every oil price spike since 1973. Most Americans adapt to cheap fuel, thus laying the groundwork for the next recession. Low oil prices today mean the expensive oil projects for tomorrow are not funded.
Today's investment decisions mean there will be very few new oil fields coming online in future years. With depletion, this means a shortage a few years from now.
People buy SUVs instead of small cars today, locking in higher oil consumption tomorrow.
Half of U.S. oil production today comes from fracked shale. These wells decline by 80 percent in four years. The small companies drilling these wells were barely making money at last summer's oil prices and many or most will go bankrupt. The survivors will have difficulty raising money when prices rise again.
Sixteen percent to 30 percent of the junk bond market is tied to oil. High yield bonds paid for many of the fracked wells. The coming wave of bankruptcies will hit that market hard. It remains to be seen if that will spread to other markets as in 2008. In any case, oil-backed junk bonds will be a tough sell when oil prices rise again.
Facts lock it up
A letter writer recently disagreed with a writer who said America is a police state. I would like to point out that America is a police state by every measure.
First, America has more police than any country in the world. We have dozens of overlapping police agencies such as the DEA, FBI, NSA, state police, local police, marshals, sheriffs. We also spend more on police than any nation on Earth.
Second, America makes more arrests and puts more people in jail and prison than any nation. As an American you are more likely to be arrested and put in prison than a Cuban, Russian, Saudi Arabian or Korean. As an American you are more likely to be killed by police than a citizen of any other country.
So, we have more police than any other country, they kill more people than police in other countries, they arrest more than other countries, more Americans are in jail than anywhere else.
We are a police state by every single measure of the term.
Maxson moving up
Having learned of Justin Maxson and his efficient work with the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Letcher County years ago, I was not surprised that he is advancing to lead the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation.
A Jan. 19 article informed readers of Maxson's continued work at MACED, which is based in Berea, and his genuine conscience for Appalachian development. This news item reflected his sustainable efforts in patience and humility necessary to win confidence.
Donald O. Cassidy
I have worked for over eight years as a pediatric nurse. I worked a year and a half as the head nurse of a pediatric clinic at Sheppard Air Force base, and head nurse of the pediatric ward at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, Ga.
A truly hyperactive child could cause considerable damage in just minutes. We helped them, taught their families to cope and, many times, we had to restrain them for longer than eight hours.
By doctor's orders, we restrained patients in the same manner as the Lawrenceburg mother did in the Jan. 7 article.
We were fully staffed, and yet, with all this professional help, we often had to restrain by using their own clothes, as did this mother, which was the safest way. And, yes, a child of three can be unmanageable. Sometimes, we admitted these patients just so the parents could get a break.
Are we going to face five-year sentences for criminal abuse like this mother? Our public officials are supposed to help restore families, and most of them do.
James B. Lunsford
After the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a small-government Republican, complained that the federal government wasn't doing enough to help.
After Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another small-government Republican, complained that New Jersey wasn't getting enough federal help, although he did have the good manners to thank President Barack Obama when the help did come.
The small-government National Rifle Association pays members of Congress millions of dollars to prevent any sensible restrictions on gun sales, but then they expect the government to pay the billions of dollars needed for the care of victims of gun violence.
Small-government Republicans like to complain about anyone else getting government assistance but they expect it for themselves.