Letters to the Editor

Reader comments on fedgazette articles.

Published May 1, 2002  | May 2002 issue

Re: Farm policy (March)

To the Editor:
We have been receiving the fedgazette for a number of months now, and I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading it. We farm over 1,500 acres in Wisconsin, along with other business activities, and the recent issue on farm subsidies and CRP programs was insightful, balanced and, most important, well researched and informative.

Great reporting. Keep up the good work.

Gary Nadolsky
Spirit Enterprise, LLP
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

To the Editor:
Seldom do I find the odor of manure so far removed from the farm.

Fred Lundgren
Katy, Texas

Re: Prisons (January)

To the Editor:
I continue to be impressed with the quality of your publication and interested in the economic development issues you cover. The series of articles in the January issue are a case in point. They are done very fairly and bring balance to the debate that rages in many communities over attraction of a prison.

Some of the points made about prisons would apply equally to any new facility in a small community. Workers are going to come from as much as 50 or 60 miles away; they are not all going to live in the community nearest to which the prison is constructed. The better the pay the farther people will drive for those jobs whether they are prison jobs, manufacturing jobs or telecommunications industry jobs. And reaping the trickledown benefits of those new basic jobs requires further action on the part of the community to both accommodate and stimulate new housing, retail and commercial development.

Another point is not made in the articles which should be made: No one economic development project will magically change the course of a community's apparent destiny. The first project is a beginning, but a sustained and consistent effort to attract new employment to a community is always necessary to keep things moving in the direction the community wants to go.

Thanks for continuing to send me issues of your fine publication.

Michael R. Bourn
Amarillo Economic Development Corp.
Amarillo, Texas

Re: Softwood lumber (January)

To the Editor:
The recent controversy on lumber imports into the United States has only focused on the fact that the U.S. mills are not making any money. The real problem that the mills must address is hinted at in this paragraph from your article:

The forest products industry is Canada's largest manufacturing sector. The nation has an efficient, technologically advanced lumber industry that is particularly strong in British Columbia, where wood products accounted for 45 percent of the gross domestic product as late as 1995, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadian mills, because they are more technologically advanced produce a better product. Our customers, the U.S. home builders, insist that we buy a high-quality product, and they buy it from us no matter what the price. They will not risk their reputation on substandard products. We have attempted to buy from U.S. mills, but each time we do our customers tell us the quality is not good enough. If that problem is fixed the U.S. mills sales will go up.

Stephen M. Quandt
41 Lumber
Quinnesec, Michigan