Open Forum for week of April 11

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letters will be accepted for the Open Forum for publication in the next available issue after receipt. Letters may be sent to Forest Lake Times, 880 SW 15th St., Forest Lake, or by e-mail to [email protected] Letters should not exceed 250 words and must be signed with the writer’s name, address and telephone number. Deadline is noon Monday. The newspaper reserves the right to edit letters and assure that rules of libel and good taste are not violated.


Follow the Money

In 1933 F.D.R. declared a national emergency, closed the banks and confiscated all the gold held by U.S. citizens.

The penalties were stiff: 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both. In return, gold was redeemed with the paper dollar.

Most of the effects of the Depression have been well documented except for the gold confiscation act. Did the federal government pursue the gold with the same zeal that the Russian government was prosecuting grain hoarders? In that country they called the wealthier peasant farmers “kulaks” and deprived them of their goods, and often their lives.

The ability of governments to deprive its citizens of their wealth is called taxation. In this country it’s not as blatant as was the recent attempt to take money from bank accounts in Cypress or as brutal as what occurred in Russia. However, what happened in 1933 in this country was not very nice.

I believe it was Willie Sutton, a bank robber, who said that he robbed banks because that’s where the money was. The governor and legislature have figured out that if they need more money, they should go after the people who earn more money and tax them. Besides, they are probably related to the people who did not turn over their gold back in ’33.

Fortunately, the governor has decided not to put a tax on clothing as he was probably told that the tax would hurt the bottom line of the stores that sell clothing.

Tom Obst