Well, we have reached the closing of the year. It has been an interesting time -- the worst of times and the best of times. We saw the stock market reach record high, the fastest and worst drop on record, and also one of the largest gains ever. I haven't heard of anyone jumping out of the window on Wall Street but the bottom probably isn't here yet. I didn't have a lot to lose so I don't feel too bad for me but those who are retired or are soon to retire and need it make me feel bad. I remember how happy many of them were and how they were glad that they weren't in the same plight as those who were Enron employees.
I can live on my retirement and it has a cost of living adjustment. However, I remember that military retirees took a big hit during the last Great Depression as did military pay. I attended a town meeting on the state of the state today. I was encouraged that Rep. Howes understood that the government isn't a business and can't be run like one. The greatest cost of a government occurs during times of trouble and economic down turn, just when you can't cut costs, as the government has to do what the private sector no longer can do.
JESSE NIX is secretary of the Crow Wing County DFL.
Fed up with traveling shows
We, being a licensed business in Brainerd, are getting fed up with the flow of traveling buying shows and unknown dealers with no local licenses showing up in the area. We own Iron Hills Gun and Pawn on Front Street and have owned the business and property for the past 22 years. We have a city license and work closely with local law enforcement. We undergo local background checks every year and FBI and ATF background checks every three years. All of our purchases go through the APS statewide system to check for stolen items. We also are required to hold all items for 21 days and keep the records at our shop for inspection.
Most of these other dealers, buying exactly the same items we purchase (ie. gold, silver, coins, musical instruments, collectibles, etc.) have no local license, no background checks, can buy and sell the item in a matter of hours and come and go in a matter of days. They are unregulated and unrestricted. It's time for those buying your valuables to undergo background checks, holding periods and record keeping that we do.
No more Obama cartoons
Can't you please stop putting those horrible cartoons in the Open Forum page of Barack Obama, president-elect. It is disgraceful! I feel so bad. The civil rights feelings are over. Please put in his real picture in the paper. It's disgraceful, what you're doing.
He is very handsome. Use his real pictures. We are so lucky to have him leading us.
No more loans to the rich
There is not a more important and fundamental principle in legislation, than that the ways and means ought always to face the public. Our appropriations should always go hand in hand with our promises. To say the United States should be answerable for billions of dollars would be rash and unjustifiable. No more bailouts. Our economy must self-adjust and no longer protect the rich. We must accept what is coming and stop printing paper called money to justify extravagant lifestyles that we have been living. In my opinion, it would be hazardous to the public faith in a manner contrary to every idea of prudence to continue to loan to the rich so that we can maintain a lifestyle above our means. Workers and the rich have ignored the starving multitudes and maintained the attitude of all I can get for me, fancy SUVs, extravagant clothing, houses, vacations on credit cards, boats, vacation homes and all the other things we buy while not sharing with our brothers has come to faces us with reality.
It's time to return to the gold standard where our money is backed by gold and never print any more worthless paper.
You can blame the politicians but we all have had our part in our woes we face. It's time to put God back where he belongs, concentrate all of our efforts to honor him and serve him all of our days. Our forefathers established this country as a God-fearing nation and we blew it. We have but one choice. God will not bless America until we return to him.
Free trade forced on us
Who is at fault for our automakers' financial problems? Our do-nothing Congress apparently doesn't consider the facts. The Big Three have been paying higher wages, benefits, including health insurance, pensions, etc. Our government allows competition to come into our country and put another industry of our once great industries out of business.
We had it made. Our country had it made prior to industries all over the world competing with our industries offering very little benefits, if any. No benefits, low wages, etc. allowed for an overhead we could not compete with.
Free trade is being shoved down our throats as beneficial for our country. It possibly could be, however, competition with low wages, no benefits, and in many cases foreign government subsidizing manufacturing and last but not least maneuvering our dollar value to their advantage. Free trade will never work as long as our government allows the bamboozling that's happening as described.
James J. Gordon
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