Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Regarding Star Parker on inflation

To the Editor:

Star Parker’s column on U.S. inflation (June 22) is clearly a not-so-subtle attempt to blame President Joe Biden for the current spike in inflation. She conveniently ignores its many causes. 

She criticizes the president for blaming oil companies for the increase in gas prices and other energy costs. She then correctly notes that oil is a global commodity. If so, how can any U.S. president be responsible if oil companies just pass on the increase in the cost of oil. She ignores the fact that oil companies are refining less gasoline. She minimizes the effect of the Ukraine war on oil prices, and ignores the unwillingness of OPEC to pump more oil.

She states that inflation “is the result of the government printing excessive amounts of money.” In the past this may have been true. Today’s inflation is a result of a perfect storm of pandemic spending to support the economy, the faster than expected return of consumer spending, supply chain disruptions, the ability of well-off consumers to spend, and the war in Ukraine.

Auto prices increased because manufacturers could not acquire computer chips, and consumers were willing to pay more for available models. Food prices increased because of many variables not limited to the bird flu, pandemic shutdowns, a drop off in crop production caused by climate change, and increased transportation costs. 

Perhaps Ms. Parker should consider whether the spending that supported American families and businesses during the pandemic was a good thing. How many businesses were kept afloat? How many families kept their paychecks? 

She takes a shot at the president’s Build Back Better plans. She should tell families that it’s tough luck that there is no extension of the child tax credit, or no help for the staggering costs of child care, or no efforts to address early childhood education. However, she should do her homework and balance her criticism with the whole story.

John Terranova

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To the Editor:

I believe Star Parker is ignorant about many things but may not actually be stupid.

That brings to mind  Alexis DeTocqueville’s (“Democracy In America”) observation of an America where “men of intelligence pretend to be stupid lest their superiority cost them a few votes.” I would extend that to columnists like Parker. How else to explain her June 22 “U.S. inflation starts in Washington, not Moscow”?

Parker seems only vaguely aware that COVID-19 and the Ukraine debacle jointly impacted the entire world as she absurdly equates U.S. inflationary pressures with those of Japan, China and Switzerland; nations whose combined military budgets are a small fraction of ours, as are their Ukraine commitments. Her doing that in the context of President Donald Trump’s leading the U.S.A. through more COVID-19 suffering than any other country in the world, including the three mentioned by her, is just plain stupid. Or is it pretend stupid?

Bill Howard

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Regarding county roads

To the Editor:

Recently St. Louis County Councilman Mark Harder introduced Bill 180 the purpose of which was to move $35 million per year into a fund for road repairs and infrastructure. Yearly renewal would be required.

The money would come from Metro funds waiting for a North-South Metro Link extension sometime in the distant future while there is an immediate need for roads and infrastructure.  The money could then be multiplied when used to gain additional state and federal dollars.

Stephanie Leon Streeter, acting director of the county’s transportation and public works, stated that every day she receives requests for road improvements but her department is “underfunded” and “strapped for cash.” Yet no representatives from Wildwood, Ellisville or other municipalities attended the council meeting to speak about their local needs. Why would this be?

Not surprisingly the bill failed on a party line vote. Perhaps it will be introduced again and local representatives will advocate for their communities.

Al Ketzner