to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
How does one get citizens/the taxpayers to pay attention? Sometimes
I liken it to the old parable describing a frog being slowly boiled alive.
This year brings another round of elections asking voters to approve
financing the maintenance and operations of area schools. Regardless of
your position on whether or not levies should be supported, I want to make
everyone aware of the reality that faces local taxpayers—the continuing
erosion of our tax base.
A few years ago, the Wilderness Land Trust purchased the Painter Bar
property down on the Salmon River. Last year, they sold it to the Federal
Government; a transaction that removed another $358,981 of taxable value
from the Idaho County tax rolls, ‘forever’. And no one said a thing! Just
last week, Idaho Forest Group drove a knife through the heart of one of
the last Industrial sites in the Clearwater Valley, by selling the old
Blue North Mill property to the Nez Perce Tribe. That action removed $682,771
of taxable value from Idaho County AND the Kamiah School District, forever.
And no one said a thing! And coming soon, the transfer of some, if
not all, of the 38,000 Western Pacific Timber acres/ upper Lochsa checker
board. These private lands currently have an assessed value of $12,819,062
and just the tax receipts from those lands that went to School District
244 were over $40,000. Remember the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange. I said
something about this one and was soundly attacked and I received no support
from the school board.
Taxpayers, guess who has to make up the difference?
No. 145 - 1/28/2018
SUBTLE DECEPTION! Yes that's it! SUBTLE - "difficult
to understand or perceive"... And DECEPTION - "mislead by a false
appearance or statement." A perfect description of the everyday things
we see going on around us today!
Recently the evidence has been piling up in very noticeable ways for
older individuals like myself. A few examples follow of gradual, but deceptive
and subtle changes which have been going on over the past years and decades.
So subtle that hardly noticeable!
First, in the gym of a member of the White Pine League where Prairie
was playing just the other day, a student was selling World Famous Chocolate
candy bars as a fund raiser for an event she was supporting. Remembering
back in the late 1900's when Prairie debate teams used the same company
and the same bars to raise money, curiosity prompted me to pay the same
$1 and take one of the bars! But wait! Instead of a wrapper which
could be taken
and exchanged for a hamburger or a similar prize, the purchaser was
given a chance in a drawing, but only if the wrapper was sent to the correct
address! Then of course, the odds that the buyer would win were slim
and reduced as the number of bars sold increased!
So far, an understandable change it could be admitted! BUT...
the real change was the size of the bar with the ones earlier remembered!
Shorter by an inch or so, and lighter by an ounce or two, the candy obtained
for the $1 paid was a far less attractive deal! Not noticed by younger
buyers of course, but for those my age, the difference was dramatic, and
subtle if not deceiving!
Just one example! Everything that used to cost a nickel now costs
a dollar or more! 25 cent hamburgers, 30 cent cheeseburgers, 3 cent stamps,
25 cent loaves of bread and gallons of milk, 20 cent gasoline, to name
just a few of a huge number of items whose increased cost is accepted by
today's citizens. But at least no deception is involved in most of
But in other cases, DECEPTION is rampant! The typical candy bar
today not only costs about ten times more, but the size continues to shrink
like the example above! A "Big Hunk" bar now should honestly be called
a "Shrunken Hunk!" And space does not exist to cite the dozens of
other examples which not only cost up to ten times more, but are slowly
being "shrunk" in size!
It is interesting to imagine what will happen in another lifetime led
by a person my age!
The issue here is not just the increase in cost. It is common
knowledge that the purchasing power of a dollar has shrunk by 90% plus!
Bluntly that means that an item purchased today for a dollar only a few
decades ago could be taken home for a few cents! A penny actually
meant something back in earlier days! A brand new Plymouth, Chevy, or Ford
for example, could be driven off a lot for less than $2000! Dozens
of other examples exist of course!
But the issue here is the deception that is often involved also!
DECEPTION! An example of which was most irritating to me happened
just the other day, as I opened a new box of one of our favorite bathroom
soaps! Irish Spring! Not only was it shorter, narrower, and thinner than
the last bunch purchased, but now was a sickly light grayish green, an
insult to the Irish! That sick
looking bar is the last I will buy of that soap!
And another thing! Ever notice how bottles of aspirin or
vitamins purchased are barely half full? The top half filled with throw
away cotton to prevent the pills inside from rattling around in a most
embarrassing manner? The waste involved is shameful, and one wonders if
it is not a deliberate attempt to deceive the buyer? If not, then
certainly an example of American waste of resources!
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