Foster: Socialism? More public interest | Opinion


Count Gerald Green among the nervous torturers who see a socialist behind every tree as he fears America is slipping into economic oblivion. rubbish!

Ditto for his comment calling Teddy Roosevelt a Democrat and confusing him with Franklin Roosevelt for creating the social safety net in the 1930s to alleviate the Great Depression.

In a recent letter from the News-Journal, Green bemoans the country’s energy “crisis” and blames President Joe Biden for the situation. Let me quote from his letter and see if readers can see the error of his logic:

“Biden is not the first president to deal with Covid-19. President Trump has treated him longer than Biden is in power. He did it with our economy at a standstill, and we didn’t have an energy problem. “

Let me repeat “… with our economy at a standstill. Yes, with our economy in recession, demand for oil has dropped dramatically. Unemployment soared to 10%, millions of people lost their jobs, and the price of oil turned negative for a short time. That’s when producers paid brokers to take excess production away from them.

The result: Gasoline prices have dropped to about half the cost of buying a gallon of gasoline today, which is a factor in increasing demand and decreasing supply. At least Biden got the message to open the Strategic Oil Reserve which is expected to lower gasoline prices in a matter of weeks.

Another cause of the supply problem is Ida. This hurricane shut down several offshore platforms and coastal refineries, drying up the glut of oil and gasoline production.

In March of last year, Congress enacted a trillion dollar relief bill for airlines and other major industries just to keep them in business until the country recovers from the crisis. pandemic. Republicans and Democrats supported this bill as a necessity to avoid a severe recession or even depression.

Now that we have COVID vaccines, these economic plans seem to be working – almost too well. Airlines do not appear to be able to hire enough pilots and staff to resume normal flight schedules. Restaurants and hotels cannot find enough workers. The same goes for retail stores and factories. This pandemic has created a drastic change in the way America does business to the point where we may never be able to return to “normal” operations.

Consider the backlog in the supply chain. When COVID first hit, companies canceled orders and suppliers cut production on everything from toys to microchips. As the economy recovers, production of these items cannot be restarted overnight. In addition to a backlog of orders, there is not enough port and truck space to get the products to market.

Workers of all stripes feel empowered to quit their jobs and move on to others that either offer better wages and benefits, or move away from public exposure to the millions of Americans who refuse to get vaccinated.

It is mind boggling to listen to people who say they don’t trust the science behind vaccines that have been fully licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. The plans are not experimental at this stage.

People who refuse to be vaccinated should be thankful that their parents vaccinated them against polio, measles, pertussis and a host of other childhood illnesses.

Have you seen the reports of people interviewed in hospitals after a long period of COVID? Now they claim they wish they had gotten the hang of it. Most survived, but many never recovered for questioning. To date, the pandemic has killed more than 750,000 Americans, and that number continues to rise.

Could it be that politics is at the origin of this blind refusal to be vaccinated?

Most News-Journal readers who follow my columns know that I’m not a big fan of Donald Trump, and that’s one of the main reasons. When the pandemic first hit our shores, Trump called it a “hoax” and “little flu” that would go away quickly. How wrong can a man be?

Even after contracting the virus, he has rarely been seen in public wearing a mask. He spoke enthusiastically about unapproved drugs as potential treatments. And when he got the shot, he did it behind closed doors, unlike Presidents Bush, Clinton, Biden, and Obama, who got vaccinated at media events to publicize the need for the shot.

So that brings us to come full circle to Green’s fear of socialism in America. The vaccines were developed by private companies under the authority of the government. It was public funding that funded the research nearly 20 years ago that led to RNA-based vaccines developed in months, not years like with previous vaccines.

Over a century ago, the American public called on Congress to curb the unbridled capitalism that has led to contaminated food, medicine and water supplies. Let’s not forget why we have these regulatory agencies working for the public good, even if you call it socialism.

– John D. Foster is a resident of Carthage and a regular contributor to the Saturday Forum. Send an email to [email protected]