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Letters to the Editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

Would democratic socialism work in our country?

WOW! What a huge error in information and thus spreading more fake news. Dano Savino stated that our deficit is $22 trillion!!! In fact, it is just over ONE trillion dollars. Our deficit is the amount of money the government is spending over and above the budgeted amount. That’s why it’s called a “budget deficit.” I’m not saying the fact that it’s over $1 trillion dollars is OK, but am clarifying that it’s NOT $22 trillion.

During Trump’s campaign for president he promised he would eliminate the deficit in eight years but, in fact, it is now almost 70% higher since he became president. Trump inherited a deficit of $585 billion and Obama inherited a deficit of $1.4 trillion from Bush. As you can see it was down to $585 by the time Obama left – significantly lower than what he inherited. But Trump’s has risen from $585 to over $1 trillion. Clearly, Trump is increasing the deficit, where Obama lowered it. Trump’s tax cut for the rich was one of the things he’s done to increase the deficit. Corporations are now contributing much less in taxes than they did before the Trump’s tax cut.

So many people are complaining about how little big corporations are paying in taxes. But, note that since Trump’s tax cut Apple’s tax bill dropped from $6.2 billion to $4.1 billion, a 34% decrease of $2.1 billion and a tax cut rate from 24% to 14% and Intel’s tax bill dropped from $4 billion to $1.8 billion, a decrease of 55% and a tax cut rate from 28% to 10%. Don’t forget that it was the Republican Congress that passed this stupid and unnecessary bill.

As for the “socialists” running for office, the total is zero. Dano is confusing socialism with democratic socialism. Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. They believe in capitalism. But they also believe that the rich should not get rich or richer off the backs of others. They believe that the rich should pay higher taxes to fund programs that benefit the vast majority, to build a more equal society where classes are not so extreme and income differences are kept within very modest bounds. Democratic socialists condemn socialism. Norway is a perfect example of democratic socialism.

Other countries that have democratic socialist policies are Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Norway is actually more wealthy than the U.S., with a GDP of over $70,000 per person (U.S. = $63,000), consistently ranked as one of the happiest countries, life expectancy of 81.7 years (79 in U.S.), infant mortality rate of two per 1,000 live births (U.S. is almost six), a murder rate of 0.51 per 100,000 (U.S. is 10 times that). These countries have all succeeded and improved their countries via democratic socialism. Sounds good to me.

CJ Stevens

Some real stats on COVID 19 or Coronavirus dangers

Most of us are inundated with politicians and newscasters reporting the effects and dangers of the coronavirus. We have seen many countries taking precautions to prevent it from landing on their shores, but trying to keep panic to a minimum. Why are such massive efforts underway to protect people worldwide? News reports have cited many more deaths globally from the flu than from the new coronavirus, as though that should somehow make us calmer. Yes, the actual number of deaths so far are less than the flu. But to get a real idea of why this new virus is so terrifying you have to look at real numbers. According to CNBC the CDC has an estimated death rate from the flu for 2019-2020 season of 0.095%, round that up and you have 0.1% the number most often reported. According to the last actual numbers reported for 2017-2018 by the CDC, the death rate number is .002% so the death rate is much lower from the actual numbers recorded in 2017 than the estimated deaths this year. The estimated death rate for the coronavirus in China as of 2/20/20 is 3.8%. That 3.8% is nearly 2,000 times higher than the actual death rate of the flu recorded in 2017-2018! Source for 3.8% mortality rate (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/#who-report-02-20)

Let that sink in; 3.8% of infected people die. Making a comparison between coronavirus and the flu shows it is an astounding disease that is nearly 2,000 times more deadly than the flu! No wonder the world is reacting to it as they are. It is highly contagious and has the potential to kill many, many people. Globally, the CDC estimates that 291,000 to 646,000 people die each year from the flu. If the 3.8% death rate holds for coronavirus and we use 2,000 times more deadly than the flu numbers, then perhaps as many as 582 million people to 1.29 billion could die. That number of deaths would overwhelm all systems. It is always possible that the death rate may recede with the addition of milder cases to the statistics and new treatments, but there will be an initial wave of deaths because we have no antibodies to this new virus. It is also likely that the cases will recede with warmer weather. Many people think that the hype is overdone, but I think we should be considering the statistics the Chinese are releasing. They are telling us we are in trouble. We need to pay attention. Just this morning, Italy informed the world that it had closed all schools, including universities for at least two weeks: how would we here in Nevada deal with closures like that? The implications are enormous.

So we are staying home and not traveling or congregating. When it hits Las Vegas or any other entertainment or convention center where people from around the world visit, then it may bloom into a pandemic very quickly. So far we have been lucky, but we need to be prepared.

Lawrence E. Mayfield

Reader apologizes and suggests research source

I’m deeply sorry for referring to Ms. CJ Stevens in the masculine gender – there was nothing to indicate any of the 56 or so designations that many on the left ascribe to so you must make allowances for those of us that may not be “woke.”

If you are really interested in some factual research, may I suggest you look into Professor Robert Epstein of the American Institute of Behavioral Research and Technology (or AIBRT) who exposes how technology can and is cleverly used to deceive and misdirect the less skeptical mind. Oh, and Professor Epstein is a Democrat and voted for Hillary in 2016 and is still a fair-minded man.

As far as “polling” questions, any average 15-year-old understands you can get the polling results simply by “framing” the questions properly. That trick has been around for a long time.

David Jaronik

New resident hopes Pahrump will retain its charm

Having worked and traveled throughout the United States, I now find myself a resident of Pahrump. It seems many are looking into rural life. Is it that big cities have become overcrowded and impersonal? Perhaps. I’m sure everyone has their reasons for relocating.

I know per capita, I’ve met more individuals from my home state that have moved into Nye County than anywhere else I’ve lived. And this includes Las Vegas, dubbed the ninth Hawaiian island! Absent the beaches, most ex-islanders comment on how the pace and lifestyle here bring memories of growing up. That’s saying a lot coming from people raised in the land where palm trees sway.

I shared with my wife the idea of taking video clips of the area. I asked what she thought of going public and posting them online. It would be a minute or so taking in the local sights and sounds on any given day. Perhaps some viewers would be able to identify the location, while others would be reminded or enlightened of what we enjoy. The idea was to visually highlight something around us.

With Wal-Mart, Home Depot and the variety of both local and franchise businesses to patronize, it’s not necessary to travel far to meet basic needs. The “Entertainment Capital of the World” and its expansive commerce is less than 70 miles away for anything we might otherwise want or occasionally need.

The Spring Mountains separate each city’s lifestyle and culture. The road map in between prepares you for both. On one side of “the hump” is a peaceful stretch greeting you as you are entering or exiting Pahrump. While the other provides a mental transition with its winding, curving roads into or out from the hustle of the Vegas metropolis.

It’s been said that the days of being neighborly and showing respect for property, authority or toward our seniors are gone. Too many are no longer thankful to God, for family or country. Yet somehow, for the time being at least, those attributes are still experienced here. The values of a rural community with easy access to modern amenities is perhaps another reason some have chosen to relocate here.

I remember a response I received when mentioning moving to Pahrump. A woman in her fifties said flatly, “Why?!” She had lived in Las Vegas for over two decades and had only recently made the drive out. “It makes no sense how that city is built,” she said. “The main road is on one side and the whole town is built and stretched out for miles on the other.” That may hold some truth, however there are only three traffic lights in the town and all of them are on that main road, Highway 160. It makes commuting throughout smooth and fast, without the road rage or congestion. Compared to big city traffic, this too may be a reason some decided to settle here.

I’m sure there are other reasons why some have moved. The real estate market, the people, or the weather might be a few. Yet perhaps my wife’s response to posting video clips sums up what many ponder. She was straightforward in her reply when asked for input. “I wouldn’t,” she said. “But if you do, at the very least DO NOT MENTION PAHRUMP or have recognizable landmarks.” Quite a response I thought, especially if the intention is to highlight our community. “You don’t understand,” she continued. “More people will want to move here. It will change. This place is a diamond not widely discovered!” I chuckled thinking, why would my posting a video online influence anyone into uprooting? With nearly a 20% growth rate being reported, it appears the discovery of Pahrump, Nevada has been made. The hope now is to retain its diamond’s value and appreciation.

Jeff Soriano Sr.

Reader condemns article on Trump endorsement

Endorsing political candidates like Donald Trump is now part of the job description for our county commissioners. While I expected partisanship from Leo Blundo, I think Debra Strickland and John Koenig should also be condemned for going along with this inappropriate political charade.

The man our commissioners endorsed never worships at church or has asked God for forgiveness. He recently attended a National Prayer Breakfast and started cursing like a drunken sailor. So if you are a Christian, how could you possibly support a man like Donald Trump?

If you are a veteran, I ask the same question. How can you support Mr. Trump? He is a Vietnam War draft dodger, who calls our current generals “losers.” The president ridiculed a true war hero like John McCain, even after Senator McCain passed away. While John McCain was being tortured for six years at the Hanoi Hilton, Donald Trump was partying in New York after a bogus medical report claiming he had bone spurs.

How could any parent support Mr. Trump? He is a compulsive liar, a bully and reads at a fifth-grade level. Surely he is not a positive role model for our children.

President Trump’s selection of science-denier Mike Pence to be in charge of the coronavirus outbreak is akin to President Hoover making Al Capone responsible for law enforcement. A truly competent president would have appointed a medical doctor to keep us safe during this pandemic.

I wish Mr. Blundo and the other two commissioners would simply work to improve the quality of life for the people of Nye County. Let the citizens who live here make up their own mind regarding the candidates in the 2020 election.

Dennis Crooks

EDITORIAL: No taxes on tips? Watch for unintended consequences

“For those hotel workers and people that get tips, you’re going to be very happy, because when I get to office, we are going to not charge taxes on tips,” Mr. Trump said.

DMV upgrade could cost Nevada extra $300M amid rollout woes

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles’ modernization of its computer system could take longer than anticipated and cost the state more than $300 million in additional funding.

EDITORIAL: Biden extends state, local slush funds

Joe Biden’s aptly misnamed American Rescue Plan, passed in 2021, dedicated $350 billion for state and local governments to stem budget losses due to pandemic business closures and subsequent tax shortfalls.

‘Taking root’: Nevada’s future with psychedelic therapy

A Nevada working group will study the benefits of psychedelic medicine, such as magic mushrooms or “shrooms,” and make recommendations for future policies.