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Olson: Response to condescending letter


In response to the Jan. 31 letter by James Kepler of Sun City, please take your own advice and “quit being lazy and do some research.” The arrogance of ignorance was evident in the condescending letter entitled “Economics and Civics lesson for Fox listeners.” I don’t know how it came to be that Mr. Kepler pompously believed Fox listeners needed a “lesson on economics and civics.” It may be because he does not listen to Fox News or Fox Business and is therefore woefully uninformed. Knowledgeable thinkers consider the strength of an argument versus an adherence to only a liberal or conservative point of view alone since complex issues are rarely just correct or incorrect. Mr. Kepler’s comments were blatantly biased in defense of President Biden and did not utilize deeper thinking skills such as asking are there alternative explanations, do I need more information, what is the probability, or is there contradictory information.

For example, Mr. Kepler stated “the president does not control gas prices” (toilet paper, baby formula, manufacturing, or egg prices). While superficially correct, it was a very naïve statement. The president’s economic and tax policies, governmental regulations, executive orders, subsidies, tariffs, denial of leasing permits, cancellation of pipelines, relationships with OPEC, etc. have an impact on the global price of oil and ultimately gasoline prices. The gentleman stated Biden “should be praised for lower gas prices.” However, economists and oil traders essentially attribute lower oil prices to two major global events. The slower growth of world economies, China in particular, have resulted in less demand for oil. Secondly, Russia is producing and supplying the world with oil at a record rate in order to finance its war in Ukraine. More supply and less demand equal lower prices.

Secondly, Mr Kepler stated “many have complained about high interest rates.” Countering that the certificate of deposit rates of 5.25% “pay you more money on your savings,” and thus implying their complaints were unfounded. Higher-than-average CD rates are good if people have the savings for a CD. However, the high federal reserve interest rates that resulted in the CD rate of 5.25% are harmful to persons and businesses that need to take out loans (or want to sell their homes) or need to make purchases on credit. As an example, Home Depot just raised their credit card rate to 29.99%. Are more people and the economy helped or hurt by high interest rates, sir?

Finally, the most unaware comment of all, “socialism is not necessarily bad or good.” Some examples he provided were Social Security, police and fire departments, public schools. Omitted from the list were North Korea, China, and Cuba. The great irony of his letter to “educate” Fox listeners is that he is poorly educated in regard to socialism. The cited source provides the following definition: “Socialism describes any political or economic theory that says the community, rather than individuals, should own and manage property and natural resources (How Socialism Emerged.” History Classics. October 17, 2019, https://www.history.com/topics/industrial-revolution/socialism). The government-controlled systems he listed are those that may not be viable under private ownership. A private fire or police department, for example, would need to charge people per fire or crime in order to remain in business. Such is a case where community control is appropriate. That is not socialism as defined. Most of the products and services Americans enjoy are the result of capitalism, and they would be curtailed or cease to exist under socialism.

My suggestion is to listen to diverse media sources to educate yourself on economics and civics. Fox News and Fox Business are good media outlets to expose you to alternative perspectives and to assist in developing objective thinking skills. Otherwise, you may continue to stereotype with bigoted overgeneralizations. Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.