Lower costs of animal farming by reducing the consumption of meat
It’s perversely ironic for rancher Cliven Bundy to excoriate poor people for collecting government subsidies, while ripping off the federal government of a million dollars in grazing fees. But, even if he were to pay up, Bundy and his fellow ranchers would still be living on government welfare.
Livestock grazing is subsidized by federal agencies on 270 million acres of public land in 11 Western states to the tune of nearly $300 million annually. Monthly grazing fees per cow and calf on private rangeland average $11.90, but corresponding fees on federal lands are set at a paltry $1.35.
Even so, grazing subsidies are dwarfed by other government subsidies and the medical, environmental, and other external costs imposed on society by animal agriculture. These extra costs have been estimated at $414 billion annually, or $3,600 per household.
Each of us can make our $3,600 annual contribution to the common good by replacing animal products in our diet with the rich variety of grain, nut, and soy-based meat and dairy alternatives in our neighborhood supermarket.
Albert Drago, Youngstown
Build bridges with long-term interests of taxpayers in mind
I heard about traffic warn- ings at Interstate 680 and Route 224 in Boardman and developed this comment as a result of over 40 years as an architect, intimately involved in construction.
We can save money and inconvenience if we look beyond the end of our nose. When a new bridge is needed and constructed from scratch, the concrete structure supporting the steel structure should be built from foundation up to support an enlarged bridge initially. This will result in savings of money and time and decrease the inconvenience to traffic by expediting the enlargement of the steel structure.
The other option would be to build the larger bridge from scratch and “grow” into it. An example is the enlargement of the I-80 bridges in the Liberty area in anticipation of future expansion of the roadway to three lanes.
Also in either case the fine tuning of traffic lights on either side of the bridge work should be adjusted to smooth out the flow during and after work is underway and finished.
Governments’ thoughts to toll all interstates are just another way to create jobs and buy votes to stay in power. It’s just an additional tax and spending with “borrowed” money that runs up the national debt.
Daniel Victor Bienko, Canfield