OPINION AND COMMENT

Editorials and other opinion content provide insights into issues important to our community and are independent of the work of our newsroom reporters.

Mega-corporations harm consumers

We are witnessing a problem of high inflation, high gas and food prices, which have more than eaten away at the recent wage increases that have occurred. Although the war between Russia and Ukraine has increased the price of gas and oil, these raw materials are not even half of the explanation for the price increase. There is pent-up demand for goods and somewhat constrained supply, especially as China has halted much of its exports due to COVID restrictions, but even that doesn’t explain the rise in food prices. . There are mega corporations in oil, food retail and other areas that have behaved monopolistically, raising prices under the guise of inflation. In fact, the current profitability of companies is at its highest for 70 years! They take advantage of all consumers to line their pockets. More than half of the price increase is due to predatory pricing. But you don’t hear that from the corporate or even conservative media, because that’s not the message they want to send. They want a different narrative, one that blames Biden and the Democrats. Because they want a different president, a Republican with legislative members in state and national positions. We need a windfall tax and some reasonable control limits on price gouging. But in the long term, we need to dismantle many of these mega-corporations so that we can once again reintroduce market-based competition.

Doug Keith, State College

Cherished memory of a legend

When I read about the recent passing of legendary basketball star and human rights activist, Bill Russell, it brought back a treasured memory when I met him many years ago. At the time, I was advising student government at Albright College, and Russell was to be a lecturer the next day. To accommodate the rigorous study schedules, the council did not meet until 10 p.m.

Russell walked into our meeting and I immediately stood up to greet him. He asked about the purpose of the group and whether they would be okay if he just observed. The senators quickly agreed, and the legend sat with me at the back of the room. If I remember correctly, he didn’t say a word, just periodically stroked his goatee.

At the end of the meeting, I told him that it was now the custom to eat pizza and play pool and asked him if he would like to join us. Without hesitation, he asked who can say no to pizza and billiards? I think it was the first time I heard what has become his trademark.

Of the articles I’ve read about his career, the one that I think revealed the most about his character is that of Jay King (The Athletic, July 31). King reports that Russell felt embarrassed by the prospect of a statue of him and did not grant permission until the Celtics agreed to help fund a mentorship program he supported. Sounds like the same guy I met, though famous and revered, who hung out with a bunch of students and their advisor at Albright College.

His perspective on statues should inform the conversations that come up from time to time in this community about a statue. Russell joked, “Two things about statues. First, they remind me of tombstones. And second, they are something for pigeons to shit.

Arnold Tilden, State College

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