The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


January 10, 2013

Your Letters: Enough of Empire Electric

Now, not later

Margaret Thatcher once quipped regarding the difficulty of social democratic states to raise capital, “They always run out of other people’s money.” That typically is the result of practicing state capitalism, where a political party raises funds by borrowing with no collateral or other inadequate sources of revenue to finance its welfare state.

The United States is a welfare state that finances arbitrary expenses with other people’s money.

The United States has issued bonds in the amount of $16.5 trillion. On the unreal assumption that all bonds mature on the same day, we have to come up with $16.5 trillion all at once “on judgment day.” We would have to yield that sum or fail to honor our promise to pay. A bankruptcy-like process could require selling off assets like Washington, D.C., California, Hawaii, the military services. No such proceedings are better than immediate radical correctional debt reduction, a balanced budget amendment, etc. Now, not later.

It is popular to say we have been saved from going over the cliff. In fact we went over the cliff a long time ago. We’re at its bottom trying to figure a way to climb up to the surface. It must be one step at a time. We have no time to spare; maturities are accumulating, making steps ahead very difficult indeed. We must not sink further by borrowing to buy back those steps (bonds). We should take extraordinary means to buy them off before maturities when the prices to us would be greater.

John Cragin


Enough, Empire

I want to second the motion of Tamara Beinlich who was quoted in a story in The Joplin Globe (Jan. 4). If Empire District is rich enough to give its CEO compensation of over half a million per year, then it’s rich enough to spend some of its own riches to at least take care of “vegetation management and depreciation expense.”

Empire could start managing by cutting the CEO’s compensation to five digits instead of six. It seems to me a man making over half a million per year for signing a few letters, going to some “meetings” and giving orders is not only ludicrous, it’s downright not right!

My wife and I live on more than $10,000 less than the Joplin median income. We live on the edge, and every year Social Security gives us each a cost-of-living adjustment of $4, then takes it away in raising the Medicare deductible. Then, every utility service known to man comes along nearly every year and raises monthly payments. These plush utilities will keep up this nibbling at our income until Joplin’s residents will be running for the homeless shelters.

What’s with the Public Service Commission members? Are they in the pockets of public utilities? It sure seems like it. Enough, Empire.

Paul T. Butler


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