Outsourcing the beginning of the end
Back in the ’80s, companies sprung up with the sole purpose of convincing American business owners to move their manufacturing to other countries. How much wealthier they would be if they didn’t have to put up with American workers who wanted things like paid vacations, health insurance, safe work places.
Of course the products made in these countries weren’t exactly the same; brands ceased to mean anything. The same factories in China or India manufactured identical items under other brand names. Quality became a thing of the past; no longer would you expect your major appliance or household goods to last for years. You are lucky if they last the warranty period.
We are filling up our landfills with things that went bad and it cost more to fix then replace. So price became the major selling point.
Now, wouldn’t you think that all these countries that got the American jobs would think kindly of us? Well not so much. Some months back the Inter Lake published an article about the IRS scams originating in India call centers, are these same call centers opened by American banks and companies? Recently we have been bombarded with letters from our pharmacy and our insurance company notifying us that one of our prescription drugs distributed by two America pharmaceutical companies but actually made in India just might have a cancerous ingredient. “60 Minutes” has run episodes on the illegal drugs coming from China, and the flooring with arsenic.
Now, I am waiting for the presidential candidate that say he or she is going to make trade deals with these countries that at least protect the health and safety of our people.
—Carole Heard, Bigfork
Eighty billion dollars is expected to be collected by U.S. tariffs in 2019. In the first quarter of 2019, tariffs made up around 3.6% of all federal government revenue, compared with just 2.2% in the same quartered of 2018 and 1.8% in 2017. Much of the boost is due to higher tariff rates on Chinese imports, the U.S.’s top trading partner. The U.S. is considering an additional tariff increase from 10% to 25% on Chinese goods.
All of this money is deposited in the General Fund of the United States. Eighty billion dollars could pay for a lot of infrastructure improvements, better funded municipal grants, improved mass transit, and more. Since it is deposited into the General Fund, none of this is assured.
I have contacted all three of my congressional representatives asking that they find a way to direct this money towards the improvement of the general welfare of our American society. I hope others will join me.
—Paul Pacini, Helena
Two great countries are presently in the midst of a constitutional crisis: the United Kingdom (Great Britain) and the United States of America. Interestingly, their situations share many similarities. First, both situations grew out of elections in 2016.
In a June referendum, nearly 52% of the voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (known as Brexit). In November, the voters of the United States elected Donald Trump president with over 57% of the Electoral College votes (304 to Hilary Clinton’s 227).
The regular people in both counties, by their votes, were making a statement to the political elite. In the United Kingdom, the people signaled that they wanted to wrest back control over their country from the European Union. The European Union began in 1993 as a trade agreement but since then has expanded its purview to include virtually every aspect of life of its member countries. In the United States, the people wanted a “United States first” policy that Donald Trump promised. They had grown weary of the political elite America apologizers who prefer globalism over Americanism.
Since the 2016 elections, the political elite in both countries have been doing whatever they can think of to undo the results of the elections. In the United Kingdom, the political elite have successfully delayed Brexit.
The United Kingdom remains in the European Union. Pursuant to the most recent proposed leave agreement, the United Kingdom would remain under the thumb of the European Union without any say whatsoever in the European Union.
In the United States, “Impeach 45” has been the battle cry of the political elite since his election. It started with Russian collusion. Then it was Stormy Daniels. Now it is Ukraine quid pro quo.
There has been no “high crime” identified. There are only secret interrogations with choice statements leaked to the press.
The ultimate success or failure of the political elite to undo the will of the people will have long reaching impact on the future of each nation.
Democracy dies in the dark.
—Mickale Carter, Columbia Falls
In search of decency
“At long last, have you no sense of decency left, Sir?” Such was the question asked of Senator Joseph McCarthy during a Senate Committee hearing he was conducting. The questioner was the U.S. Army’s Chief Counsel, Joseph Welch, and to his credit, it appropriately began McCarthy’s ignominious crash to the dustbin of hateful and unworthy politicians who have first earned our trust and then violated every aspect of their oath of office.
And yes, the same question could be appropriately asked of President Donald Trump. With him, the decency air has long been out of the bag. After all, his lack of integrity, untrustworthiness, misogyny, narcissism, deceit, racism, selfishness, ignorance and maniacal xenophobia have been on full display for the world to see virtually every day since he took office.
But no, the overarching decency question is not for President Trump. Rather, it is more appropriate for the cowards in the Republican Party who continue to look the other way in the hopes that history will forget their enabling complicity and reward them with additional opportunities to fail at meeting the standards of honesty and integrity that uniformed military service members regard as sacred truths.
Shame on you, as it is you, not him, who are destroying the very fabric of this great nation.