Some Current Observations
It has been a privilege and honor to write these columns for the past 13 plus years. I know that at times I have rubbed some folks the wrong way. This has been shown by letters to the editor about my columns. It has been a policy of the paper to publish these letters, which at times have been as long as my columns. I encourage the publishing of a different view from my own. It has been very few instances where I have responded to the objections to something that I have written because in each case I have given it much thought before I have said my piece and I believe that what I have said covers my opinion. This newspaper is not a debate society. I appreciate hearing the things that have been brought up, but I cannot remember when one of them has changed my view on a subject. Am I always right? Possibly not or maybe I should say probably not. I am now old enough to have lived through a number of tough and varied situations and my views are certainly flavored by my experiences.
In my youth, my father was a Democrat. It was not hard in those days because the south was known as the Solid South. All of the politicians were conservative Democrats. My views are still very close to those of President Harry Truman and Senator Dick Russell. I did not change, but the Democrat Party did and they left the conservative positions to the Republicans so I shifted with the rest of the new Republicans. Bert Lance was a Democrat and one of the people that I admire very much. He and I had many conversations. I don’t recall any positions that we discussed that caused a disagreement between us. I don’t believe that many of the positions of the Democrat party today would fit Bert Lance. Zell Miller was another Democrat that did not agree with the direction the party was taking. The positions that are taken by the Democrats today seem to be opposite to those of the Republicans and that is why they chose them. They don’t seem to be trying to do the best thing for the country. They seem to want to keep the Republicans from getting credit for doing the feet. The old wall was a 10 feet high fence that could be cut with wire cutters.
When I lived in foreign countries, my news from America came from CNN International and the BBC, both of which originated in London. Today this is still true. There is no international Fox News channel and the good things that President Trump is doing is not being told in other countries. The world does not know about our low unemployment numbers. They know about the import tariffs that President Trump is putting on the steel and aluminum, but they do not know about the massive imbalance of trade. The United States is allowing foreign products into the country without tariffs, but there is no place we can ship without our products being penalized with tariffs. Even Canada with the NAFTA treaty is still putting high tariffs on our farm products. President Trump is negotiating to bring our balance of trade in line so that we export as much as we import. When we import more than we export, our dollars are leaving the country and they never return. That is one of the reasons that the dollar is the money standard for the world. Every country is getting dollars when they do business with the United States. We have lost too many of our industries because we reduced our import tariffs and allowed countries that have low labor costs to ship into our country tax- free.
When I left India, I gave all of my coins to the driver that had taken care of transporting me to work and to eat. In our money, it was worth about ten dollars. He told me that was a month’s pay for him. When I was in Lithuania, a secretary was making one hundred dollars per month. We cannot compete with wages like this and import tariffs is the method of balancing the costs. When import taxes are put on products coming into our country, the consumer pays them in the end with higher prices on the products at retail. The advantage is that when the products are made in our country, more people have jobs and more products are sold.