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Letters to the Editor

Money speaks louder than votes

Dear Editor, 

Here in the Heartland very few conservative Republicans discuss their political views. 

When they do, they nearly always bring up the problem of able-bodied “freeloaders” lining up for government handouts. 

I share some of their concern, but wonder if conservative policies haven’t made “freeloaders” out of the very wealthy. 

The political power of the dollar has grown immensely since the expansion of conservative economic policies in Reagan’s time 30 to 40 years ago.  

Growth in lobbying, campaign costs, and super-packs are some of the ways in which money speaks louder than our votes. 

Billionaire Warren Buffet says that “trickle-down” economics has actually become an upward surge (Time Magazine). 

The 400 richest individuals have increased their wealth 29 fold since 1982, and 0.1 percent of U.S. citizens now own as much as the entire bottom 90 percent (Market Watch). 

Among the 34 affluent OECD member nations, the U.S. ranks fourth in unequal distribution of wealth. 

Some religious conservatives have forgotten that Christ ministered to minorities and to the poor, rebuking their oppressors.

A 2011 study of the Fortune 500 companies found that 30 of them, including Exxon-Mobil, GE, and Verizon, paid no taxes; and 280 companies paid an average of 11 percent. 

Big corporations are doing very well. They have moved their operations to countries where labor is cheap and taxes are low, all the while strongly discouraging U.S. workers from organizing. 

They despise “big government” because it might regulate their activities and require them to share their profits more equitably. 

Ryan and the Republicans would privatize Social Security and decrease Medicare benefits, even though these senior programs have barely kept pace with medical costs.  

In 2015, Global Age Watch rated the U.S. 29th in economic security for the elderly. 

After a campaign that promised a better life for the lower and middle classes, Trump has fallen in line with the conservative agenda. 

Yes, the stock market has done very well; but remember, the wealthiest 10 percent own nearly 90 percent of stocks (World Wealth & Income Database). 

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) ranks the U.S. 22nd in democratic principles among the nations of the world. 

We have slipped from a Full Democracy to a Flawed Democracy (EIU designations) in a persistent downward trend. 

Monied interests have taken over our democracy, successfully drowning out the voice of the people; and they will do everything in their power to remain in control. 

Delmar Lohr

Forreston

Blood drive was successful

Dear Editor,

The Oregon Park District recently sponsored a blood drive through the Rock River Valley Blood Center on Friday, Jan. 12. 

We had 27 individuals that signed up to give blood and a total of 23 units were collected. This is 69 lives saved!

Thank to the community for supporting the blood drives. 

The next blood drive is scheduled for Friday, May 11 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. 

Mark your calendars and we hope to see everyone in May.

Jena Wehmhoefer

Aquatics Coordinator

Oregon Park District 

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