Your Views for July 11


Complacency?

History has shown no civilization (nation) has held its superiority indefinitely.

Are we an exception? It behooves everyone of us Americans to ponder that question.

As president Obama said: “We can shape our own destiny.”

T. Ono

Hilo

Aloha, Penn

Hawaii’s own, BJ Penn, has represented Hawaii extremely well over the years in many mixed martial arts competitions. In his MMA career, he has accomplished a lot, not only in the octagon, but giving back to the community as well.

Win, lose or draw, Penn has made his mark in Hawaii’s sports history and will forever be a true Hawaii son.

Rick LaMontagne

Volcano

Inflation still low

In Curtis Beck’s letter of July 10 (“Inflation a problem”), he charges Paul Krugman’s assertion that inflation has stayed low during the Federal Reserve’s program of monetary expansion to be speculation and not fact. Well, as Beck doesn’t provide any data of his own to support his observations and opinions, just what are the facts?

The Federal Reserve began its bond-buying stimulus program (an $85 billion per month investment) in 2012 specifically to help the U.S. job market recover. They did so because, having lowered interest rates as far as possible, the economy remained stuck, with unemployment exceeding 9 percent in all but the last three months of 2011.

At the time, January 2012, unemployment was at 8.2 percent and the inflation rate was 2.93 percent. Today, following the Federal Reserve’s June policy decision to end its bond-buying program in October, unemployment stands at 6.1 percent and inflation at 2.13 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics). If inflation annualizes at the current rate, it would still be a lower rate than eight of the last 14 years.

Sure, prices are rising, as Beck observes. But the last year in which we had no inflation at all was 1955, and in 31 of 48 succeeding years, inflation has been greater than it is currently. In light of these data (actual facts), Beck’s attempts to discredit the Nobel laureate Krugman on the basis of personal anecdote and opinion are specious and should be ignored.

Ed Comstock

Hilo

 

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