Trade deals would create U.S. jobs
When you realize that 95 percent of the world's consumers live outside our borders, it is clear that international trade is vital to a vibrant U.S. economy. Trade supports American jobs, plain and simple.
Agricultural exports alone supported about 1.1 million American jobs last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Every $1 billion in agricultural exports supports more than 8,400 jobs.
We export 15 percent of our corn production, 45 percent of soybeans, 27 percent of pork and 14 percent of beef. Kansas ranked sixth in the nation in 2009 with $4.7 billion in ag exports. And there are real opportunities to increase exports, creating more jobs.
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Free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama have languished for years. As China, the European Union and others aggressively work to secure trade and investment partners, the United States has stalled, losing valuable market share.
The USDA estimates these three trade agreements would boost U.S. agricultural exports $1.9 billion, $371 million and $46 million, respectively, per year after full implementation. That's another 19,400 jobs created.
The approval of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama will help protect U.S. market share with key trading partners, expand exports and create new American jobs.
U.S. Meat Export Federation
Depend on press
"OK to push marriage?" (Aug. 21 Eagle Editorial) and other Eagle editorials have provided thorough and spot-on analysis of the Brownback administration. Without The Eagle and other dedicated newspapers across the state, Kansans would be writhing around in ignorance, unaware of the untold number of self-serving, ideological policies and decisions that are being made in Topeka.
The reporting The Eagle does on our behalf, especially now, with an administration intent on making decisions with virtually no transparency or regard for public opinion, underscores once again that just one entity — the free press — stands between citizens and their government, thus protecting us from them.
Without The Eagle's investigative, in-depth reporting — the hallmark of print media — Kansans would blithely and unknowingly find themselves entrapped in an oligarchy. And if that's to be our fate, it's not because The Eagle isn't providing the facts and information for us to make our voices heard or make different decisions; it's because we're apathetic.
It was a curious twist of logic that led a letter writer to compare humans to dogs and cats in their ability to control pregnancy ("Living like dogs," Aug. 22 Letters to the Editor). Humans are like dogs and cats in their ability to respond to passion or cruelty, or to show compassion. However, we humans breed dogs and cats to encourage desirable traits, and deny the ability of our own species to make rational choices about the same thing.
The last point the writer made, using the domino effect to link treatment of the elderly and infirm to the treatment of fetal tissue, also was curious, as many of our elderly wish they could have the same care and attention that their relatives give to pets. To see this, visit any nursing home.
Finally, when men understand the risks of either wanted or unwanted pregnancy, they will have some standing to make choices about someone else's body, and undoubtedly will ensure their own use of contraceptives.
Until then, focus only on the more positive aspects of Homo sapiens.
Pay for military
America's greatest strength has been the military might projected throughout the world. Trust in the American dollar is not backed by politicians, institutions or business, but by the blood and treasure of our military.
The growing disdain for military spending is a historical characteristic owing to the passive nature of America. But the threats are real, and the momentum for danger is growing while America diminishes its defense with a desire to fund entitlements.
Look at the speeches given by our representatives in 1941, and you see violent argument against military spending, action or any involvement at all. Pearl Harbor caused America to wake up.
What will happen when history repeats itself? Freedom is a fleeting perception without the determination to pay for it.
My brother died July 22 in a apartment fire in Lenexa. According to firefighters, the cause of the fire was careless smoking. My brother did not smoke. Someone's carelessness and smoking habit resulted in the loss of an apartment building, the personal belongings of 50 people and the life of Bill Mueller.
I am tired of people complaining about President Obama going on vacation. Is anyone complaining about Congress taking 30 days off? The president is only taking 10 days off. I did not hear those same people complaining when President Bush took vacations while we were at war.
The Obama haters will complain about anything he does. He should tell them to take a long walk on a short pier.
ALEX RAY Jr.