LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Responding to inflation claims in opinion column
The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the Bemidji Pioneer by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Bemidji Pioneer. To submit a letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to Bemidji Pioneer, P.O. Box 455, Bemidji, MN 56601.
This letter is in response to Rachel Beglin’s opinion piece on Page A4 of the Pioneer’s March 16 edition, entitled “ Focusing on the benefits that come with inflation .”
Here is a summary of several of her main points and my responses.
Author: Our cost of living has been too low, because it has been subsidized, due to the globalization of our economy.
Response: I partly agree, especially when considering, for example, China’s use of slave labor to produce artificially inexpensive consumer goods which have been flooding our market.
However, there is no subsidization of the cost of fuel and food, as she claims. In fact, regarding fuel, one can say that there is presently a “reverse subsidization” from onerous over-regulation of the fossil fuel industry because of President Joe Biden’s expressed desire to “get rid of fossil fuels,” resulting in rapidly and artificially inflating fuel costs.
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Author: “...we have to do less. Of everything. There are activities in the U.S. that we assume are rights but are in fact extreme privileges. Take (air) travel for example.”
Response: Here, the author is guilty of “terminological inexactitude” by which she misunderstands the terms “rights” and “privileges.” If air travel is a “right,” then it would cost nothing, since it would be an entitlement. Or, if air travel is a “privilege,” then it belongs only to a select few, granted by higher authority.
In fact, air travel is a “benefit” that is available to anyone who wishes to buy a ticket. At any rate, she wishes to restrict this benefit by returning to higher ticket prices by saying “It will mean high prices for airline tickets — as they should be.”
Author: “I think this (inflation) is the beginning of a reassessment of what a human life can and should look like in the middle of a climate crisis.”
Response: Since there is a limitation of 400 words for letters to the editor, instead of launching into an extended critique of the notion of “climate crisis,” suffice it to say that (1) climate change does exist, since (2) climate is always changing, and (3) some of it may be man-made, but (4) it is by no means evident, nor universally accepted that we are in a “climate crisis,” whatever that means.
Finally, best wishes to the author and everyone, as we enjoy the spring thaw.