Deep summer thoughts from the front porch

The opinions stated in this article are solely those of the author and not of Iron County Today

In the “dog days of summer” I sit on my front porch, a cold beverage in hand, and mull over a dizzying number of topics. I have random thoughts:

LAST WEEK I attended the opening of a Vietnam Memorial replica in Layton. It is a beautiful and thought-provoking monument, not only to the courage and loss of American young men and women, but also the arrogance of American leaders. The opening included the presentation and speeches of a number of local and state politicians, all of whom I admire. But at the same time, I thought that a true memorial would be free of political figures; it was their predecessors that got us into the unwise, unpopular, and unwinnable war in the first place.

SEVERAL READERS have told me that I’m shortsighted on the impact of the Trump tariffs. I am blind, they say, not to recognize that the President is “putting American jobs first” and restoring American manufacturing. Okay, since I’m not an economist I’ll let the Republican-oriented Wall Street Journal, hardly a liberal haven, explain the effects of the Trump tariffs: “Over the next three years, the U.S. will lose 400,455 jobs due to the steel and aluminum tariffs, quotas, and retaliation. That’s 16 jobs lost for each steel or aluminum job gained.” And you still think Donald Trump is a smart businessman?

WHY DO WE allow Congress to keep kicking the can down the road when it comes to solving the looming crisis with Social Security and Medicare? Politicians all admit something has to be done – but all they do is publish taxpayer-funded newsletters boasting that they are acting responsibly when it comes to taxes and the budget. We all know that healthcare costs are far outpacing other cost-of-living items, and the age-65 and up population will increase from 50 million to nearly 80 million in just 17 more years. I look at Sen. Hatch, Rep. Love, Rep. Bishop, and Rep. Curtis…it there a statesman in the bunch who will stop pontificating and grapple with a real issue?

IT IS COMMON for Utah residents to oppose construction of multi-family housing developments. They rightly complain to traffic congestion, but incorrectly insist that smaller living spaces will increase crime. (I don’t think $1,700 per month apartments or $350,000 condominiums will attract hordes of unsavory gang members.) Utahns will have to use common sense. We have the highest birthrate in the nation, the “family atmosphere” means many young adults want to live near their parents and siblings, and there is still a trickle of out-of-staters coming here for employment. Since we aren’t “manufacturing” more available land, it is silly to believe that homes on half-acre lots will be the norm. And at some point, we’ll have to admit that a dwindling water supply cannot support large and lush yards.

So back to the front porch. I await summer concerts from Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and the Secret Sisters. A slight breeze is muting the oppressive heat, and I still have ice cubes in my drink. It might be time for a snooze.



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