Letters to the Editor – Storm Lake Times
The book ban is back
So the book ban is back? Just in time to nurture a new generation of closed-minded people.
There is a silver lining, however. In the 80s and 90s, when my sister, Cryss Farley, was executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, we laughed at the dinner table reading aloud the latest books suggested for prohibition. My all-time favorite was “Making It With Mademoiselle”, a book of girl’s dress patterns for young seamstresses from the editors of Mademoiselle Magazine.
Marie R. Christopher | monks
Term limit anyone?
I read today that the political arm of Susan B. Anthony List has endorsed the re-election of Senator Chuck Grassley.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the SBA serve as chair of one of the senator’s previous campaigns?
Craig Fratzke | High
Monopolies play a major role in inflation
Various sectors of our economy have been consolidating for decades as big companies buy out smaller ones. The result is near-monopolies (or oligopolies, as they are called) with a few large players dominating an industry. Concentrated market power allows firms to raise prices and control production levels.
Taking an example in Iowa, we see that four companies control up to 85% of the beef, pork and poultry markets. Overall, inflation is 7%, but over the past four months the price of beef has increased by more than 20%; even more shamefully, profits in the meatpacking industry have increased by more than 300%.
Another near-monopoly contributing to inflation: 80% of maritime transport is owned by just three carriers whose control of the supply chain allows them to drive up prices. Inflation results and customers suffer.
The current inflation has several additional causes. Covid has led to a shortage of employees and consumer goods like computer chips, appliances, phones and cars. Supply chain workers such as warehouse workers and truck drivers are in short supply. These shortages provide the perfect time for monopoly firms to exploit their pricing power.
Supply chain issues can lead to inflation. But a major cause of inflation is opportunistic corporate behavior in quasi-monopolistic sectors of the economy. That’s what brought you inflation. Not Joe Biden.
Susie Petra | Ames
Quiet on the mat
The front-page photo of your January 19 edition: “There should be a law” banning scantily clad grapplers from groping in school libraries! Give the GOP time.
Mike Wellman | monks
Teachers must respond
Regarding the Republican Majority Leader’s public remarks about alleged teacher agendas, thank you John Cullen for your response.
Republican teachers respond?
David E. Nixon | Emmetsburg
The Times Opinion Section
I subscribe to the Storm Lake Times because the coverage of Iowa topics is so good. In the Jan. 21 edition, Art Cullen, in his op-ed “A Good Bipartisan Effort,” celebrates Republicans and Democrats doing something about unfortunate Iowans with mental health issues. He writes, “Governors and legislators have been overzealous in their deconstruction of the institutional health care of yesteryear.” Perhaps they were influenced by the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.
My wife does substitute teaching. From the perspective of a 75 year old man who went to Catholic schools run by strict nuns, the idea of having a child crawling on the floor while my wife is trying to teach or having to put up with a wandering child in the classroom taking books and papers from other children’s desks are difficult to understand. I’m told that when a student starts throwing heavy objects, the solution in Des Moines is to get all the other students out of the room and let the youngster destroy anything. It didn’t happen at St. Jude Elementary School in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Art wrote another, “Serious about conservation,” crediting Tom Vilsack with his excellent appointments in the Department of Agriculture. Vilsack worked hard to turn our farming barge into the Governor of Iowa. Everything has since reversed. Our legislators and our governor are of no help. Maybe Secretary Vilsack can do something about our lakes and rivers from Washington.
John Cullen got candid about Jake Chapman in ‘Don’t Blame the Teachers’. My daughter is a teacher. His job is to assimilate immigrants, help children from dysfunctional and violent homes, deal with an administration bullied by angry parents, calm the mentally ill and now try to teach during Covid. She tries hard. She’s crying. She threatens to quit. She is an award-winning teacher. So comes Chapman with his horrible reputation on the hill. Republicans nominate him president of the Iowa Senate. Then he goes after the teachers for the pleasure of the big donors to his party. This is too much for our teachers.
Randy Evans tells us that Iowa had the lowest growth rate in the United States between 1900 and 2000. I live in Windsor Heights. My kids are entrepreneurs taking advantage of the opportunities in Des Moines. Other states I know of seem to have vital small towns. Why are so many rural Iowa communities in decline? Evans explains – Iowa agriculture. The way the Farm Bureau Federation runs the state is not conducive to family farmers, small strong communities, or attractive outdoor recreation.
For an elevation, “Why I Chose Iowa”, by Dustin Miller. So many reasons to be proud of Iowa’s past. Yet we struggle to attract talent and our out-of-state image is not good.
My comment – the legislator’s solution to our problems – “attack the teachers, cut the taxes, let the chemical pushers run the state”. Thanks to the Storm Lake Times. Not afraid to tell the truth.
mike delaney | Windsor Heights