Letters for February 28, 2019

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of  opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.

What’s in a chair?

You can tell a lot about a person by their chair.  And no, I’m not speaking about the obvious. The obvious being, an expensive chair means a wealthy individual and  plastic equates to poverty. I’m talking about what a chair says concerning a person’s integrity. On any given day, just venture down to the Ingles Super Store and mosey into their food court area. Leave behind any preconceived notions regarding a persons’ outward appearance because it plays no part in this story. Just look around and you will see chairs scattered about.  Fifty years ago, this would not have been the case, so why is it today?  Now for a play-by-play scenario. A person comes into the store, buys  lunch,  sits down, enjoys their meal, gets up, pushes their chair away, walks off and never puts it back under the table.  Not a big deal, you say?  Yes it is.

Everyone leaving a chair out,  means that the next person, arms filled with food and looking for a table, has to traverse an obstacle course just to sit down. In doing so, they run the risk of bumping into someone seated and about to put a fork full of green beans into their mouth.  This leads to an embarrassed bumper and an upset eater.   Both just wanted to enjoy a nice meal and now that hasn’t happened. Then, the same obstacle course scenario raises its ugly head once more, when it’s time to leave.  Then, consider the wonderful people that work there.  How must they feel having to constantly spend time putting chairs back under the tables? 

Now for the integrity part.  What does this say about a person? First, that they’re too lazy to push their chair back under the table and second, they could care less about other people having to maneuver around their thoughtlessness. As for employees,  hey,  buying a meal pays their salaries and therefore let them push the chair back in; it’s their job. Hopefully, as you can now see, a chair says volumes about your manners and upbringing.   So, what’s your chair’s been saying about you?

 Jeff Pritz – Franklin, N.C.

 

America destroying itself from within to save whom?

You’re on a train and because diesel locomotives burn fossil fuel, your train is electric. After a while, your train slowly comes to a stop. A Conductor comes through and tells everyone that clouds have covered the sun and the wind has died, your train will have to sit until the weather clears. This is wind and solar power, by the way.

And, to make matters worse, you can no longer buy gasoline for your car.  Sorry, no more cars manufactured in the U.S., gas or electric.

You won’t be able to fly out to Nevada to visit your relatives or do business there because all airlines are shut down. Foreign airlines are barred from entering the U.S. and you won’t be able to travel overseas.

Because your farm equipment runs on diesel fuel you won’t be able to continue to work your farm. Country wide, food shortages begin to occur. Boeing and other industries and the rich move to other countries. Millions of American jobs are lost in or connected to coal mining and oil producers.

Yep, don’t expect to build a fire in your fireplace next winter, too much pollution. 

Now, to beat all, the Dems are moving to shut down our ranches because of Bovine flatulence.  (farts)  Cow farts are methane gas and contribute to global warming.  Hello broccoli burgers and bye bye hamburgers.  That nice juicy prime rib will be relegated to your dreams. I suppose buffalos, horses, elephants and fart producers will need to be exterminated as well.

Aw heck, what’s wrong with this scenario, we’re saving the world aren’t we? Sorry to disappoint you, but we ain’t saving the world at all.  

The rest of the world continues merrily on as usual and nothing changes. Manufacturing and using fossil fuels continues on but in other countries like China and Germany instead of America. Even more fossil fuel fired power plants are built to handle the increased manufacturing we can no longer do. Only France manages to keep their carbon emissions down because they were smart enough to convert to nuclear power long ago.  

The reality is that Russia, China and India are slobbering over the idea that we will put ourselves out of competition with them and China will be free to continue to extend its tentacles into the rest of the world we left open to them.  China continues even now to build coal powered power plants around the world and it should be obvious that America is the only country to destroy itself from within to save whom? And, with our population growth we will eventually run out of fresh water pushing us further down. Yes, this planet is in trouble with the looming global warming problem. But destroying America will gain us nothing except poverty and does nothing to save us or the world from devastating over population.

China will gladly send us all their pollution.

  Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.

 

Are reverse mortgages for real?

I would like to address any seniors out there that own their home and are considering a reverse mortgage. My recommendation: Don’t do it.

Let me give you a real example of what it will do to you and your future retirement life.

Let’s say your home is valued at $200,000. Your reverse mortgage lender will allow a loan of $100,000. Closing costs on this loan will run about $8,000 of which they will charge you $2,000 for what they call mortgage insurance. What you now receive is actually $90,000 but you will be charged interest on the whole of $100,000. The interest they are going to charge on the principle each month is based on 4.99% per annum, far in excess of rates charged for a regular mortgage. On the first month, the principle of $100,000 will collect interest of about $415 plus they will charge you their so-called mortgage insurance amount of about $200 first month. So after the first month, you now owe $100,616 and from then on each month your debt increases by the interest on each month’s balance and an ever increasing amount called mortgage insurance. Interest is actually compounded. Believe me, in seven years, your debt will double to over $200,000. And on the eighth year you will probably be in excess of the value of the property you once owned. Once that happens, the reverse mortgage is turned over to a contractor for the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Now you not only don’t have your own home but you cannot afford to improve the property or carry out any renovations. In reality, the goverment has taken your home in only seven to eight years. And believe me, the slightest glitch like being late paying your  R.E. taxes or not keeping them current with your home insurance, they will foreclose. The example I have stated is a fact, it has happened to a couple I know. Don’t let those phony ads on TV suck you in. Check the facts and ask for a loan value in seven to 10 years before you think seriously about reverse mortgage. It is time the federal government look seriously at this rip off

  G. Puckett – Franklin, N.C.

 

Venezuela’s failed Socialist experiment

A better, more current example of the failure of socialism is hard to find. In 2001, Venezuela was the richest country in South America. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, but since the 2014 crash in world oil prices, on which Venezuela depended for more than 90 percent of its export revenues, its economy has contracted continuously, unleashing an economic crisis worse than that experienced by Americans during the Great Depression. In the past five years, three million of Venezuela’s 32 million people have fled the country. More than half of all Venezuelans lack enough food to meet their daily needs. The country’s hospital system has all but failed; countless Venezuelans have died owing to a lack of medical attention and the scarcity of medicines for treatable illnesses. Venezuela’s murder rate is among the world’s highest, making it one of the most dangerous countries in the world to live in. The country had to ration its electricity use because of severe power shortages. It also could no longer afford to print its own money. By January 2019, the inflation rate for the bolivar reached 2.69 million percent. The unemployment rate reached a high of nearly 95 percent.

Venezuela turned to Socialism in 1998 when Hugo Chavez was elected president after two unsuccessful coup attempts to oust his predecessor. The new regime brought not only a new constitution, but higher oil prices as well. The following year Chavez passed laws redistributing land and wealth (theft), which he followed in 2005 with a land reform decree (more theft) that would eliminate larger estates to the supposed benefit of the poor in rural areas.

In 2007, the government took control of important oil projects in the Orinoco Delta and later expropriated two U.S. oil companies, furthering Chavez’s nationalization plans.

Nationalization continued with the Bank of Venezuela and household fuels distributors and gas stations. In 2011, with a 27 percent annual inflation rate, the Venezuelan government introduced price controls of some basic goods (they would extend to other products in the following years). Price controls cause shortages.

By the time of Chavez’s death in 2013, inflation had grown to 50 percent and rose to 63.4 percent in the following year. Towards the end of 2014, the country entered into a recession.

Present-day Venezuela is facing a humanitarian crisis and Nicolas Maduro, Chavez’s hand-picked successor, and his Socialist regime is rightly shouldering the blame. The country’s emphasis on price controls and a heavily-controlled economy are features found in other current and former Socialist countries, which have contributed to their demise, or brought them close to it.

One of the most obvious examples of economic failure is the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). With its highly centralized government and economy, the USSR survived for 69 years (propped up by aid from the U.S.) until its collapse in 1991, representing the longest time a state had been led by a Communist Party.

While oil prices were high, the USSR appeared to have a strong economy and could maintain its focus on increasing its military power. But when oil prices fell towards the end of the 1980s, the USSR found itself forced to borrow from Western banks. Its sluggish economic system and dependency on the West also weakened the control that it had over its occupied, enslaved countries and eventually led to its demise. Venezuela now finds itself in a similar difficult position.

 While Venezuelan officials like to blame the crisis on the United States and rightwing business owners aiming to sabotage the system, it seems obvious that the heavily centralized state-run system inherited from Chavez is what is driving Maduro’s country to ruin. The only thing that can save Venezuela is ditching Socialism. Venezuela has been rated the world’s 9th most corrupt country.

The opposition has called for a referendum to oust Maduro, but the process is still in limbo – meaning relief for the Venezuelan people might be delayed. [U.S.] National Security Advisor John Bolton also called on nations who still recognize Maduro as president to reconsider their support. “Masked thugs, civilians killed by live rounds, and the burning of trucks carrying badly-needed food and medicine. This has been Maduro’s response to peaceful efforts to help Venezuelans,” says Bolton. 

Venezuela is the latest in a long list of countries that have fallen for Socialism and paid dearly for their mistake. Can the U.S. avoid the same fatal error?

Ed Hill – Franklin, N.C.

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