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Women shortchanged in the United States

To the editor:

Clearly the Review-Journal knows what will sell papers. The infamous O.J. Simpson, acquitted of two heinous murders, has now made it into the front page headlines for his more current criminal behavior. Read all about it.

But on Page 28A, Friday, nicely hidden with the headline, “Muslim women are losing equality fight, report shows,” is some really newsworthy information.

The World Economic Forum’s review of 128 countries showed that women in the United States received “mixed” results in competing for jobs, equal pay and political office. “Mixed” seems not quite as tough a description as may be needed. The United States fell eight places from last year’s study to 31st.

That means 30 other countries scored higher in quality of life for women!

The article goes on to explain the lower rating as due to the “percentage of female legislators, senior officials and managers” falling in 2007, and “the pay gap between women and men” widening. The article further explains “the purpose of the rankings is to bring out where a country stands in terms of dividing the resources that are available between men and women.”

I guess the Review-Journal, along with Republicans and the religious right, are happy with this dismal report. But I am not.

Dorothy Jones

LAS VEGAS

Markets and risk

To the editor:

On your Nov. 7 editorial page, you published a “Final Word” quote by the obviously ill-educated professor Michael Greenburger, who blamed the rising cost of oil on “futures speculation” — this time by hedge funds and big banks.

Mr. Greenburger’s opinion provides a compelling incentive to avoid paying for a higher education anywhere within America’s academic system, now seemingly dedicated to the achievement of socialistic ignorance, as well as arrogance.

How does one get to be a “professor” of business law and not be aware that arguably the most efficient offset of risk is through the mechanism of “free markets” and specifically with commodities — oil or otherwise — through futures? Or that one becomes a speculator when standing between the producer and the consumer as one who is willing to assume the risk that neither wants at any given point in time? This assumption of that risk creates a market where otherwise none would exist. How does he not know that the total volume of trading in any future represents an equal number of those desiring to sell a specific risk they don’t want, and of those simultaneously choosing to buy that specific risk?

In simpler terms, the producer wants to sell his product at today’s price and offset the risk of a future drop in price, whereas the consumer wants to buy the product now, and offset the risk of an even higher price in the future.

Frequently the producer asks too much and the consumer is willing to pay too little. That requires a speculator, willing to step in at a price between the two and assume the risk of one side or the other.

That simple mechanism is what creates a market of unbroken continuation and stability. Without the speculator, the wheat farmer couldn’t give his crop away at harvest, and conversely, no one could afford a loaf of bread by spring.

The Marxists will never understand the principle of free markets, nor can they comprehend the subsequent efficiency of its natural process of distribution. Instead, they would rather that the government fix prices, wages and markets, having faith only in the infinite wisdom of the bureaucratic state, as in Soviet Russia, where the state pretended to pay its workers and the workers pretended to work.

The promise of perpetually long lines and empty shelves championed by our illustrious academia and your taxes.

K.D. Adams

LAS VEGAS

Nine lives

To the editor:

Because we are getting bobcat sightings locally, I wanted to let cat owners know that the bobcat is a host to a type of tick that can be transmitted to a cat. It causes a blood disease called cytauxzoonosis and is 95 percent fatal to cats. They will die within a couple of weeks, and it is not an easy death.

I called a local vet hospital to ask if ticks could survive in Nevada (because fleas do not) and was told yes — and that any ticks found here are usually brought in from elsewhere. However, since bobcats didn’t used to be seen in the populated areas, that was probably not a problem.

If you truly care about your animals, I would advise keeping them indoors and checking them for ticks if any bobcats have roamed through your yards. It’s bad enough they can kill our pets, but this added threat of a fatal blood disease spread by their ticks can be even more scary if people are not aware this can happen.

J. O’Grady

LAS VEGAS

 

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