Some Cur­rent Ob­ser­va­tions

Calhoun Times - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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