US support for Ukraine, electric vehicles, inflation
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On Biden’s ‘targeted message on Russia’ (editorial, September 22): The Russians are certainly not bluffing about this escalation in the Ukraine conflict. They have more nuclear weapons than any other nation on Earth. They know the meaning of the suffering accumulated over centuries of successful battles and defeats against invaders – most recently the Nazis.
The West must recognize its role in fomenting this crisis with the Maidan coup/putsch in 2014 and the relentless provocative behavior of NATO against Russia since the fall of the Berlin Wall. We must reverse the march to total war with the greatest nation on Earth that has the most natural resources. We are still one step closer to World War III, which no one will win and which we will lose. I’m sorry for what’s happening in Ukraine, but it’s not worth dragging the United States (which suffers from a myriad of domestic problems, like inflation), into an unwinnable conflict that will collapse our economies and possibly destroy all of humanity.
Michael Pravica, Henderson, Nevada.
What the media seems to ignore is that all or most of the countries that were previously under the Soviet umbrella could only be held together by force. These countries have chosen to be independent, as some are willing to join NATO or go to war with Russia rather than live under Russian rule again. Russian President Vladimir Putin must keep a gun to other countries in his effort to “rebuild” the USSR. To make sure they don’t leave, he’s ready to shell them into the Stone Age to keep them from leaving (see Chechnya). As the losses increase, it is likely that Russian citizens will also turn against him. The fact that he recruits prisoners should say a lot. Ukraine will need billions to rebuild itself. Who will pay? It will either be a huge financial burden for Russia or an economic deadweight for years to come. Either way, any country that has to forcibly hold member states under military threat will never be a serious world power.
Keith Bogut, Lake Elmo
I kind of want to cut out Daryl Cagle’s cartoon from Friday’s paper (showing two people rolling their eyes in a car plugged into a wall outlet and coming to the end of the cord) and project myself 10 or 15 years ahead to see today’s myopia cynics. If you just replace the image of the car with that of an 1980s computer or, even better, an early 1990s phone, you’ll know what I mean. A search of the political cartoon archives would likely find similar shots on such innovations as motorized cars in the days of horses and buggies. Or, “What the fuck are these flying machines for anyway – if God wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings!” Apparently, it is overwhelming for some to accept the new world of advanced technology.
And, yes, I always read on the printed page.
Neil Robinson, Plymouth
We drive a non-Tesla electric vehicle with a range of 222 miles on a full charge from our reliable garage charger. We recently took a trip from the metro area to Duluth for two days and two nights, but left our electric vehicle at home because we cannot trust public chargers for reasons cited by Lonnie McQuirter (“Don ‘t hand Xcel the Minneapolis EV Charging Market”, Opinion Exchange, September 14).
During the 18 months of renting our electric vehicle, I found that non-Tesla public chargers were not supported by host properties. Once when a charger failed to link to my EV battery software, I got a free remote by calling the phone number on the public charger, but that shouldn’t not be necessary.
Our internal combustion engine (ICE) rental car and gasoline cost us $430. It was work to drive compared to our EV. Pickup by comparison was non-existent, and acceleration was wire-steered (meaning delayed) precisely when we needed it most (when melting zippers, for example). A premium gas pump broke down, but an attendant immediately came to fix the problem.
I will never own another ICE car, but I will never put my electric vehicle out of reach until the pervasive problems of public chargers are eliminated so that public chargers match the reliability of gas station gas pumps.
Mathews Hollinshead, St. Paul
Even with inflation reaching 40-year highs, industry leaders and Wall Street veterans including Elon Musk, Cathie Wood and Jeffrey Gundlach are increasingly pushing the Federal Reserve to backtrack on its policy prescription. higher rates to fight inflation. Given the often long delays in their policy actions, they argue that the Fed is increasing the likelihood of a recession or hard landing, even risking short-term deflation.
With short-term real rates still significantly negative and an unemployment rate at 3.7%, an all-time low, the Federal Reserve is likely to maintain its course of higher rates, even if this triggers a decline in short-term asset prices. term. Inflation continues to rise month over month, albeit at a slower pace, in part due to deflation in commodity prices driven by the stronger US dollar. A Fed decision to cut rates would raise asset prices, weaken the dollar and put upward pressure on commodity prices, adding fuel to an already burning inflationary fire.
The Fed’s dual mandate of stable currency and full employment will sometimes create a tug of war between those who want higher asset prices and those who cannot tolerate the inflation that high asset prices can. create. I hope the Federal Reserve continues to prioritize price stability and the vast majority of Minnesotans who see their purchasing power eroded with every trip to the grocery store.
Carl Mariano, Wayzata
In response to the constant effort to portray the party that currently rules our country in the best possible light, please consider the Star Tribune print headline of the inflation poll, instead of stating “Majority Says inflation is not undue stress for households” (September 22) could have said “84% of households feel the stress of inflation”. Your colors are displayed again.
Jim Sakara, Bloomington
Who’s fooling who? (“The majority say inflation is not an undue stress on households.”)
Inflation is indeed causing “undue stress” and misery for most of the population.
It’s a matter of degree. The costs of automobiles, homes, mortgages, food, education, entertainment, health care, child care costs, etc., continue to rise rapidly.
For short-term and long-term savings, money is now worth less. Inflation caused a dramatic drop in the stock market. Those stocks in real dollar terms are even worth less now.
It is the level of misery that is different. Those of the middle and lower classes are the most affected. It reinforces the digital divide and the haves and have-nots. The upper class can absorb inflation much more easily, but even then they suffer from some misery. Most should be able to achieve the American dream, not just a high percentage of society. Inflation also affects young people – it makes it so much harder for us to achieve this dream.
Let’s say that inflation is reduced to 3%. This still leaves past inflation prices in place. The misery of inflation is upon most of us. I implore our leaders to fix it.
Gordon Hayes, Eagan