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Letters to the editor – Tuesday

How can N.C. afford to give away maps?
On Thursday, Jan. 20, I read an article in the Post headlined ěFree copies of state map now available.î
Seeing lately that Governor Purdue consistently reminds us how broke the state is, I had to read the article. Free maps from the state? We have budget cuts everywhere, state pension fund problems, education virtually on hold or minimized, and more. NCDOT reported that 2.5 million copies of this new map are available free by simply calling 1-877-DOT-4YOU.
I ordered three, and they are being mailed to my house. Do the math: Even at $1 each, which is cheap, with postage thatís at least $3.50 with handling. If more people like me ordered three maps, that would satisfy 833,000 households; at $3.50 each, thatís a whopping $2,916,000, but I guess Democrats donít think that way. Thatís 97 teachersí salaries for a year at $30,000 each. This is my conservative estimate since last month in Florida I purchased one Florida state map for $3.75.
Iím wondering how this expenditure for free maps was justified. Especially considering the constant reminder that our stateis broke. How about it, Governor Purdue? Please call the NCDOT and provide us tax-paying, amorphous blobs out here with an answer.
ó Mark Oden
Salisbury
Why inflation matters
Have you read the news or heard on TV or radio about the inflation in our economy? Iíve heard it said somewhere that we should expect inflation to rear its ugly head in the near future. If you buy groceries or gasoline or pay a heating bill, you know the price of goods and services has gone up; what is the rate of inflation? No one is saying.
So, my question is simply this: What is inflation and why should I worry about it? The Swiss economist Peter Bernholz defines inflation this way:
ěInflation is the increase in the level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time.î
Let me break this down in a practical way and show why it is important to you.
If we have a 2 percent annual inflation rate, you might say, ěWell, thatís not much ó I can handle that.î If, however, you compound a 2 percent inflation rate for 10 years, it becomes 22 percent. What you could buy for $1 10 years ago will now cost you $1.22. Or, putting it another way: Your dollar from 10 years ago is now worth only 78 cents. Inflation in any amount is not good.
Retired people living on their Social Security or other savings find their retirement money does not go as far as it did. They pay more for groceries, gasoline and heating their homes. Politicians decided that retired folks in the past two years just donít need an adjustment for inflation; however, Congress got their COLAs (cost-of-living adjustment). The ruling class operates under different rules than the people.
As long as Congress continues to spend and print money as it has for the past two years, inflation is inevitable. We cannot spend our way out of this recession.
I am encouraged but believe there is more work to be done at the ballot box.
ó Richard Roberts
Kannapolis
Submitted for debate
The Salisbury city website lists only the council membersí pictures and names, no contact information. Therefore I write you, who should be asking these questions in the first place. Where is the press when most votes ar 5-0? Is there no debate?
Questions:
1. If it is so important that Fibrant succeed that we pay bonuses to keep the city manager, shouldnít this be charged to Fibrant and not the taxpayers?
2. Who is paying the cost of the trips to support legislation for other cities to get into the Internet business?
3. Why is there not an entrance to I-85 off Bringle Ferry Road? This would take a lot of traffic off Innes Street that comes from the northern part of the city, Spencer, East Spencer and eastern Rowan. I understand that if the city had asked when the highway was widened, we could have had access there.
4. The traffic lights are too long at many intersections.
5. Train whistles are obnoxiously loud. I understand the city could request lowering the noise.
ó Charlie Sowers
Salisbury

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