Business Forum

In response to “Lower diesel price brings joy to the ranks of truck drivers” (Aug. 21):

Truckers not joyful; they're going bankrupt

The article suggests an emotion most in the industry rarely experience these days. Had the Observer made basic inquiry, it would have discovered some 88,000 trucks, or roughly 4.5 percent of the nation's heavy duty tractors, are off the road due to bankruptcies during the first half of 2008.

The contraction of capacity to move this country's raw materials and finished products is quite serious as these tractors have not been parked but eliminated. The “happier” place referred to in the article is not the norm.

As an owner of both asset- and non-asset-based transportation providers, I have seen the difficulties firsthand both independent operators and small trucking concerns are experiencing.

Fuel prices may be falling. However, this failure phenomenon will continue as companies cope with cost pressures across the board that are eliminating profit opportunity except in the rarest of cases. The “ranks” of truck drivers I know are quietly hopeful things will improve. Our faith carries us more than joy.

Jeff Harvey


Price of crude falls, but prices here stay high

So gas prices rise and fall according to the price of crude oil – right?

On Aug. 18, gas was $3.74 per gallon at a Hess station in my neighborhood.

According to a Google search, I could have stopped at a Hess station in Elizabeth City for $3.50 or Raleigh for $3.51 or Greensboro for $3.49 or Winston-Salem for $3.48.

That sort of puts that crude oil theory to rest.

Dick Jarrett


In response to “Gas, food prices push inflation to 17-year high” (Aug. 15):

Fed to blame for inflation

Observer writer Jen Aronoff (and the government, to be fair) writes, “Surging food and fuel costs propelled inflation.”

That statement presumes that rising costs cause inflation and wholly misleads the American public.

Rising costs are merely a symptom of inflation. The inflation itself is the inflation of the money supply.

The Federal Reserve, our communistic central bank, controls the money supply. Every time the Fed lowers interest rates, worthless U.S. greenbacks are printed out of thin air, and the money supply is inflated. More dollars chasing the same number of goods raises prices.

Pete Pappas