My daughter and son both graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. I was always astonished at how much their fees were each semester. I assumed it was a way of keeping the published tuition low, so they would appear more competitive with other state colleges.
Now I know differently.
I just read in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the school paid Kareem Abdul-Jabbar $80,000 to make a speech and take questions from the student body recently. Eighty thousand dollars was paid from the student fee account. And I'm sure they paid for all his travel expenses as well.
I find it difficult to believe that any speaker would be worth $80,000 for a couple of hours of talking. Perhaps recruiting speakers who are more affordable could lower the fees students pay and thus the cost of attending the university.
High costs in hospital
I recently was admitted to the hospital for the flu, and during my stay I was visited four times by three different doctors (hospitalists employed by the hospital, and not one practicing in private practice). The total time spent with me during these four visits could not have been more than two minutes.
I have just received a statement from my insurance carrier that showed it was charged $600 for these short visits. To make matters worse, the first visits did not recognize the seriousness of my condition, and if it had not been for a dedicated RN who saw how serious my condition was and reacted quickly with the rapid-response team, then I would be in serious danger. I feel they saved my life, not the hospitalists that visited me. My gratitude goes to the RN and the rapid-response team.
My point being, maybe the hospitals need to review not only the charges of the hospitalists but the rewards of the dedicated nurses. Just another example as to why our insurance costs are out of line.
Quiz for state's voters
Are you tired of having your state rate at almost the bottom of the many surveys regarding education, children's health, and infant and maternity health issues?
Are you tired of having your Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and health insurance availability threatened? Are you speechless at hearing what some of your legislators are doing with your tax money that is supposed to be going into projects for the betterment of their constituents? Are you tired of having your U.S. senators and representatives saying there is nothing they can do about controlling the NRA, or background checks, or the types of guns or age limits on people who purchase guns?
If your answer to these questions is yes, then now is the perfect time to do something about it. If you are not registered to vote you have until April 23 to do so. You can then join with those who are already registered on May 22 to vote in some new faces and ideas that just might change some of these issues. Do be sure to check out your registration and voting venues as it seems to be a rather common practice to change these places on a fairly regular basis.
On trade and tariffs
President Trump used the term "dumping" in his recent press conference when discussing his proposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. Dumping is a term used by trade analysts to indicate sales below costs and/or below fair market value.
Typically, aggrieved U.S. companies file a formal complaint with the International Trade Administration (ITA), a department within the Department of Commerce, and the International Trade Commission (ITC), an independent quasi-judicial agency. Each agency will assign a highly skilled team of lawyers, accountants, and industry experts to do plant tours of the specific companies named in the complaint to assess the manufacturing capabilities and verify sales and cost data with audited financial statements on site. This is done for the domestic industry by ITC and for foreign producers by the ITA.
Once the data have been verified, they are submitted to the six commissioners (three Democrats and three Republicans) of the ITC for formal hearings. Although the hearings are very technical and often contentious, there is a ring of fairness. These cases generally take about six months to a year to resolve. President Trump apparently didn't want to go through a lengthy process, and made an arbitrary decision without the benefit of ITA and ITC expertise in the interest of time for immediate political benefit.
Normally, the six commissioners would decide whether to grant relief to U.S. companies by the imposition of tariffs or dismiss the allegations altogether because the U.S. companies have failed to be competitive. Tariffs are levied by country and are not company-specific.
Trade is a two-way street and to arbitrarily make it one-way almost surely will result in disastrous collisions with our trading partners and put trade on life-support for years to come, which will be harmful to everyone.
We live, and we learn
As a senior citizen now, I was in my mid-30s before I personally knew someone who was murdered, much less ever considered the possibility schoolchildren would be murdered in their classrooms. Nor have I understood other citizens who were one-issue voters. I guess I am slow to be passionate about things, or maybe I pride myself on always being able to see the other side's point of view. But, fellow voters, I vow to never vote for any candidate who doesn't support reasonable, common-sense gun control in my state and in my country. That includes any candidate who receives funding from the NRA. #Enough!
Editorial on 03/19/2018
Print Headline: Letters