With very few exceptions, national economic "experts" and mainstream professors and pundits here in Colorado have been spectacularly clueless as to how the financial meltdown is occurring and what it portends. Little more than a year ago, almost every one (many even a couple months ago!) predicted smooth sailing with the odds of even a minor recession rated "very slight." Notice how these "experts" use the term "unprecedented" to define what's happening and what's needed to fix it.
Based on lifelong training and paradigmatic behavior, it was (and remains) impossible for them to see what's coming. Those folks would do well to throw away their old textbooks, but we know they won't. Most elected officials haven't any idea how an economy or monetary system actually operates. That's why this mess will get so much worse.
They, and the public at large, should familiarize themselves with Adam Smith and the reality explained by the true business-cycle theorists. In the early 20th century, the "Austrian School" was founded and developed by Carl Menger, Ludwig von Mises, et al. Start with the various works of von Mises on money and monetary policy published between 1912 and 1931. Or try Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. The Austrian School generates the only theory to have correctly predicted the debacles in financial mismanagement of central banking systems, from the 1920s to the present.
Mainstream financial pundits and professors need to undertake a "crash" course. The public should ignore virtually everything that emanates from their highly misguided thinking and false prognostications. They are more clueless than the public because they believe and practice a financial paradigm that was obsolete before it was proposed.
Batten down the hatches, folks, the worst is yet to come!
I have a strong need to write this! I am a mother of six children. I grew up a cradle Catholic, and I too believe that abortion is wrong.
But I believe that the government has no right to make the decision for any woman. That is between her and her god.
Janette M. Skokan
A mighty wind?
In response to the Independent's Oct. 30 news item ("Sign to support wind power," Noted), Colorado Springs Utilities would like to recognize the Green Cities Coalition for its commitment to improving the environment. We'd also like to share a wind-power update with Indy readers.
This past spring, we requested proposals to add up to 100 megawatts of wind power to our energy supply. After the final review is complete, we expect to award a contract the first part of next year, with power to begin flowing to Colorado Springs in 2010. Currently, part of our community's energy comes from hydroelectric power and a small wind contract, which total a little more than 8 percent of our supply.
Under Colorado renewable energy standards, municipal utilities must receive 3 percent of their power from qualifying renewable sources from 2011 to 2014, 6 percent from 2015 to 2019 and 10 percent by 2020.
The wind proposals are just one part of our energy planning. Using public input, we take into consideration the needs of our customers, environmental impacts and rate implications of our energy resource portfolio. Equally important is our collective ability to lessen our impact on the environment by reducing our water and energy use.
If you'd like to be involved in the planning process, learn more about future plans or check out tips on how to save energy, visit us at csu.org. You can also find details about our renewable energy certificates, which you can use now to help offset your carbon footprint.
We look forward to sharing news soon about the addition of more wind power to our community's supply.
Colorado Springs Utilities
Ode to the election
'Twas the night before the election and all through the city,
tempers are flaring, oh what a pity.
We have seen all their ads that left nothing more to say,
McCain now is broke and unable to pay.
He blew his chance with an agenda that was stale,
when compared to the Messiah he looked old and frail.
He then picked a VP with spunk and sass,
too bad it was too late to save his tired old ass.
The electorals were even, he had his fair share,
but he got lost in the woods and was chased by a bear.
With stocks down and a lot of folks without money,
all is not well in the land of milk and honey.
Oh Fannie, oh Freddie, oh Pelosi, oh Biden,
some of us are going to get screwed and are really a-frighten.
Health care and bridges with lots more to come,
The One wants to give what's left over to some.
Distribute here, distribute there,
it won't be long before our closets are bare.
And Hillary is still asking how she became the forsaken,
it was all hers to win right there for the taken.
Oh me, oh my, say it ain't true,
will we see her again when she's seventy-two?
Concerning the 2009 city budget, one of the proposed tax cuts is to parks and recreation. As I understand it, this will mean, among other things, our swimming pools, resources for the elderly, community centers and preschools.
As a concerned citizen and parent whose child has just enrolled in the West Center and Rock Ledge Ranch preschool, I want to raise awareness of the invaluable resources these programs offer. It's a service unrivaled in the city for quality teaching and wonderful educational environment, at very reasonable prices, available to many who otherwise would be at a loss should the program be cut.
How is it that, in a time of crisis, those most vulnerable take the hit? I understand money is short and has to come from somewhere, but to penalize children, working parents and the elderly is surely not the way forward. Without recreational services, the whole community suffers.
Where are children to go when their preschool closes, or after-school? When gas prices are high and getting higher, surely the best idea is to support the role of community centers, parks, preschools and recreational centers, so that crime, alcohol and drugs are not the only options on our streets, and TV and video games are not the only recreational options.
The Colorado Council on the Arts recently completed a survey, concluding that creativity in schools and ample physical activities increase our children's, and our own, capacity to learn. It's more important, in this time of need, to support children, the elderly and our community in general.
Hellen Eberhardie Dunn
I am pleased Barack Obama showed the courage to run for president. He willingly placed himself in imminent danger from enemies, both foreign and domestic. I included domestic enemies due to the recent plot by some skinheads to assassinate him. Although I am not religious, I hope a modern-day James Earl Ray or Lee Harvey Oswald does not crawl out of the woodwork.
I could write a long treatise on the reasons that the majority of the citizens of the U.S. found it compelling to vote for Obama. First, he is not George W. Bush; it will be refreshing and encouraging to have a president who reads, cares about exchanging ideas with others, and does not rely on religious influences to make decisions. I want a president who cares about common folk, not peers who are rich. I also want a president who doesn't operate unilaterally in world affairs.
I voted for Obama because he will have the opportunity to appoint as many as three Supreme Court justices. I didn't want that authority resting in the hands of a Bush-like president. I likely will not be around to see all those appointments, but it is important to me that my son lives in a culture that is tolerant and less rigid than what the current Supreme Court represents.
I also want to mention Obama's moral courage for standing up for the welfare of persons who have not fared as well as the norm in life. I am thankful the American public has been given the opportunity to vote for a great man.
Just a glitch
Responding to Walt Barrow ("Getting the fax," Letters, Oct. 23) about absentee ballot requests getting mis-routed by the clerk and recorder's office: I am one of the individuals whose absentee ballot request was forwarded by El Paso County erroneously to media outlets.
I'm writing because Barrow isn't aware of the facts of the situation, nor does he speak for me. Only by the wildest stretch of deductive reasoning could one conclude this unfortunate occurrence was voter fraud. Instead of handling situations personally and at the lowest level possible, Mr. Barrow elevates his personal perceptions of being wronged immediately to the highest level and to anyone who will listen to him.
While I'm disappointed El Paso County forwarded my ballot request to print, TV and radio outlets, it was a technical glitch with a fax machine and not voter fraud. I was able to contact a very busy election department and the staff was nothing but accommodating and professional. I'm happy to report I received my absentee ballot without incident, and I did vote without any problems.
El Paso County officials did not deny me any rights, nor have they even remotely engaged in conduct that could be considered fraudulent.
The human mind is set such that it is intent on keeping the things it has and constantly seeks to acquire the things it doesn't have. Just as in our daily lives, anger and frustration emerge from the fact that either we lost something we once had or cannot get something we want. The same that is true for the individual is also true for the mob.
The mobs, for this discussion, are the current political parties. Their names are Left and Right. Although most Americans see the majority of issues as somewhere in the middle, we are always forced to choose Left or Right lest (as we incorrectly assume) our voice will not be heard.
Left and Right appear almost daily with new proposals and laws meant to swing more allegiance to their side. In reality, with each new law passed and with each new resolution signed, those things sold publicly as "protection of America" are slowly chipping away at what makes America the great nation it is liberty.
There is no one to blame but ourselves. We the people shape the government that we have today. If we do not speak out about issues we feel strongly for, if we do not force those elected to represent us to do their job, then the government we are shaping is the one we deserve, typified by laziness and a sense of entitlement.
Why would we trust a system so inefficient as our own government to solve our own problems? Even still, many look to the new faces of Left and Right as hope for some far-flung revolution in the way government conducts itself.
If this incites strong emotions, you have seen a speck of truth. We must create the change we wish to see in our nation.