China needs us more
If you want to understand why the Rust Belt came about, look no further than the auto industry. Corporate leaders became complacent to the point of producing cars of such low quality that the Japanese were able to absorb huge market shares by providing a superior product (despite higher prices). At the same time, union leaders made the cost of American labor ever less competitive with that of developing countries.
Then there was the Japanese manipulation of its currency, followed most significantly by China. Although it could be argued that helping our allies (and former enemies) to become increasingly dependent on us as the market for their goods was a good thing, the modern reality is that our trade deficits have transferred over $13 trillion in wealth to other countries, and are costing us some 10 million jobs.
Yes, there will be some short-term pain as China attempts to maintain its surplus. But China is far more dependent on maintaining exports to us than we are dependent upon maintaining our exports to (or imports from) it. The majority of our exports to China are raw materials and parts which it needs to produce the products it exports back to us.
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Midwives option for birth
Women’s rights are constantly being discussed in today’s politics. One of those rights that has not been publicized, but should be, is the right to have professional care during birth wherever a woman chooses to do so.
Many women believe there is no other option than giving birth in a hospital, even if they are healthy and in a low-risk pregnancy. A hospital birth can actually increase the chances of an unnecessary medical intervention, thus costing far more than what it would cost to give birth at home with a certified professional midwife.
In Kentucky, there is no licensure available for certified professional midwifes. I believe there needs to be a bill passed allowing midwives to become licensed to practice in our state. This would create new career opportunities for those wishing to become midwives; it would allow pregnant women more affordable care, and allow a more affordable home birth.
More people, especially women, need to be educated on what midwives can actually do and the benefits of employing a midwife instead of a physician. In normal deliveries, a physician is not necessary and costs upwards of thousands of dollars.
GOP a pallid shadow
The Republican Party has fallen far from the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower.
Beginning with Nixon’s bargain with Southern segregationists; to becoming cash hounds pursuing the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other self-seeking men who gave us the Tea Party and its obstructionist tactics; to fundamentalist looking to criminalize abortion and remove the wall between church and state, the party has ensconced partisan advantage over the public good.
The party’s rush through Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination without doing due diligence on accusations of sexual impropriety further demonstrates how partisan interests trump the public weal.
It’s no wonder that a party so adrift from any principled moorings was easily taken over by a mountebank like President Donald Trump. The party of Lincoln, who led the fight against the spread of slavery, and Teddy Roosevelt, who took on the malefactors of great wealth, couldn’t unite behind a candidate strong enough to stop the hostile takeover.
In place of congressional giants such as Henry Cabot Lodge or Robert Taft, we have the epigoni of Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Paul Ryan.
Is this the party America needs as it moves forward in the 21st century? Let’s hope not.
Wanted: more integrity
My father used to preach that “a man is only as good as his word.” Whatever happened to that simple principle? Political speech has descended further and further into realms of “alternative facts” and outright lies. We deserve better and must demand a higher degree of integrity from our elected officials.
I couldn’t help but notice the irony of the photo the Herald-Leader ran showing Congressman Andy Barr high-fiving his supporters election night while being safely protected by a roped-off barrier. Build that wall, Barr. Build that wall.