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Spending our money, Round II


Fri, Jan 30th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



It might be a stretch but it seems to me that the economic situation we now see around us is similar to being attacked by an unseen enemy. Like the 9/11 disaster, seemingly out of nowhere comes an unimaginable catastrophe. Sure, we know now that there was information available to our leaders clearly stating a 9/11-like event could and most likely would take place. We also know now that there were warning signs about the possible, almost inevitable, collapse of the housing market and the consequences that would follow. And, like 9/11 these signs were ignored or at the least discounted. Now faced with another catastrophe we (our government leaders) seem surprised once again.

The questions before us are how to deal with job loss, home equity collapse, severe stock and bond market retreat, bank collapse, and lack of funding for loans. The proposed solutions, like most that come from government involve money. Whether it's spending money to fund a war or money to stimulate the economy, it is money, always money. With these expenditures there must be easily understood policies of implementation and policies of accountability. To date it appears that the original billions given to Wall Street banks, insurance companies, and others have not produced the results that were supposed to happen. Most people assumed that some portion of the given money would be made available by the banks for loans. And, that these loans would help the average person with their mortgages. However, recent press reports have stated that no directions were given on how the money should or must be spent and little to no required accountability of how the funds were used. It has also been reported that very little of the money has been used for loans or mortgage relief. Instead, some of the banks have used their money to pay off a portion of their debt, secure the positions of their stock holders, and to buy other banks. In defense, some say that had we not done what we did do things would have been much worse. But how does one know this for sure?

The economic stimulus plan (it's not longer called a bailout) now seems to be one of tax relief and government spending. This, I suppose, is probably the only way government can come to the rescue of its people. The hope is that the plans once implemented will be effective, take hold in a relatively short time, and restore confidence in all sectors of the country. As with any government program there will be some who wish to .....
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A 'Welcome' Home

Fri, Jan 30th, 2009
Posted in Commentary



As my wife, Amanda Sethre, and I embark upon the adventure of publishing a weekly newspaper in this beautiful area of Southeast Minnesota, we would first like to thank you for being so welcoming.

The people and scenery of Fillmore C ..... 
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A Question of Energy

Fri, Jan 23rd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

On the night of January 10, we had the biggest and brightest full moon that we will see in 2009. A walk under this moon would have made streetlights unnecessary.

A big change for my husband and me with our recent move from the Big Woods into ..... 
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Wind farms in Fillmore County are a plus

Fri, Jan 23rd, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the past several decades we have developed an insatiable appetite for all that is electronic. This trend is not likely to be abated. Things that we now take for granted like central air conditioning, cordless phones, garage door openers, comput ..... 
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Barack Obama is the right person for the job

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Before the election last fall, I had a conversation with a Republican friend about the qualifications of the major candidates. The topic of concern in the media at the time was whether Sarah Palin, a small town mayor and first term Alaska governor, ..... 
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It's time to show the world what the U.S is capable of

Fri, Jan 16th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I might get a new outfit for the inauguration. I fear the mail lost my personal invitation to the ball but I sure plan to celebrate in my own living room and the whole country should do the same.

Alright, the economy is tanked, the weather i ..... 
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Will they just tinker around the edges?

Fri, Jan 9th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

The editor has asked me to focus my commentaries on healthcare reform efforts and similar subjects. The subject should allow me to be as curmudgeonly as I want to be. I don't agree with any of the politicians and very few of the people I have discuss ..... 
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Capitalism with American characteristics

Fri, Jan 9th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

When Deng Xiao Peng emerged from exile after the Cultural Revolution in 1978 and started espousing economic reforms for communist China, he talked about "capitalism with Chinese characteristics."

Over the last 20 years, China's economy has ..... 
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How many zeros?

Fri, Dec 19th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Know why they always print 70b or 700b? Because only mathematicians know how many zeros are in a number so large. The reason our math teachers taught us up to the thousands and then used those "to the power of" and algebraic letters was, they had no ..... 
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