Letters to the Editor

Responsibility for the economy

Responsibility for the economy

One of our Chinese students said, “When we earn four dollars (yuan), we spend one and save three.” My wife responded, “When Americans earn four dollars, we spend five.”

Understandably, our government passed the massive $2.2 trillion stimulus to help individuals, small and big business. The price? $6,666 added debt for every man, woman and child. We hope this necessary evil can save entire industries and hurting people during this coronavirus pandemic. Yet, why now? China and poor countries don’t have government bailouts.

Perhaps we haven’t the self-reliance, resourcefulness and generosity of our 1918 Flu Pandemic, Depression and wartime-surviving ancestors. Where is the hand-me-over, wear-it-out, do-without culture that recycled foil wrap, paper, clothes and leftovers? Where’s “pay-as-you-go?” Or one to three months emergency reserves? Where’s volunteerism and old-fashioned neighborhoods? Largely, this pandemic hasn’t caused our money woes but certainly exposes them.

Instead, we pay enormously for phone, internet, TV and college education. We have credit balances (debts) of $6000. We buy new cars plummeting in price immediately off the lot. We have lost basic values of faith, family and frugality.

I believe we can do better, and there are individual and industry signs we are. We’d better because crises, disease, and death are always ahead. Already many elected leaders want to open our prisons and borders for many diseased and dangerous, provide universal health care and education, save the planet from carbon, add economic stimulus — all costing multiplied trillions. In the future how can we depend on a broke government?

Tim Bickel

Cedar Rapids

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