The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

April 1, 2013

Your View: Not a good choice

JOPLIN, Mo. — In 1936, Franklin Roosevelt asked the voters if they were better off than they were four years earlier.

Unemployment had been cut almost in half. Roosevelt won every state except two in 1936.

In 1937, Roosevelt became fearful of inflation and slashed government spending, the country fell into a second recession. Republicans called it the “Roosevelt Recession” to distinguish it from the “Hoover Depression.”

What causes inflation? It can be caused when government pumps more money into the economy than it needs. When Lyndon Johnson introduced the “guns and butter” policy during the Vietnam War, he slowed inflation.

Inflation can be caused when demand exceeds supply, During the Jimmy Carter years, OPEC held oil off the market to raise the price. Gas prices soared, and inflation rippled throughout the entire economy.

Inflation can be caused when wages rise faster than productivity.

When prices rise faster than wages, inflation can be caused by corporate executives receiving oversized salaries, supersized bonuses and stock options. When the value of company stock is higher than it was a year ago, the executives have the option to borrow money from the company, buy the stock at the lower price and then sell it back to the company at the higher price. The executives are profiting at the stockholders’ expense. When the value of the stock goes down, they don’t buy at last year’s price. They aren’t losing money, but the stockholders are. When a lot of stockholders sell at once to cut their losses, they can bankrupt the company.

Corporate executives can then use their golden parachutes.

I hope this explanation isn’t as clear as mud, but executives hope it is.

No Billionaire Left Behind is a separate subject that should not be confused with executive compensation. If I were as smart as these guys, I would be dangerous if I were crooked. They can rob you blind and never spend a night in jail. They don’t cause inflation; they create recession. They make their money the old-fashioned way: They steal it from the investors and put the money in offshore banks.

In 2008, they cost the economy $11 trillion. None of them went to prison. They make Bernie Madoff look like an amateur.

Some politicians don’t know how to fix the problem, so they pump money into the economy. Other politicians are paid to see the problem isn’t fixed.

It’s “a real choice,” but it isn’t a good choice.

Steve Goebel

Joplin

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Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Pledge must be priority

    Mike Seibert, after being elected Joplin’s mayor on Monday, immediately pledged that the city will be operating with transparency.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Phill Brooks, columnist: Value of outside fiscal experts for government

    Missouri recently lost a man who had been one of the state’s tax leaders of decades past.

    April 15, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Hate hurts us all

    Investigators say Sunday’s shooting of three people — two at a Jewish community center and another at a retirement complex in Overland Park, Kan. — were hate crimes.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: State’s theatrics

    Conservatives in the Kansas Legislature have taken advantage of a serious problem — inequities in public school funding — to attack teachers and create new problems.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joan Banks, guest columnist: Right-to-work isn’t what’s right for Missouri

    Right-to-work legislation is up in the air right now in the Missouri Legislature.  Last week, the bill failed to get enough votes to advance to the Senate, but supporters are working to get those votes and move it forward.

    April 14, 2014

  • Our View: A hand across

    Have you ever needed $20 to help you get by until payday, a ride to work when your car wouldn’t start or someone responsible to watch your children for a few hours?
    Of course you have, and odds are you picked up the phone and there was someone on the other end willing to help.

    April 13, 2014

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