The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Forrest Hershberger
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Feeling the Squeeze


The Fed recently OK’d a .75 percentage point increase, the biggest increase since 1994, according to the New York Post.

There were also rate hikes in March and May of this year. The reasoning behind it is to try and prevent inflation. Meanwhile others are concerned the move could result in a recession.

Electric vehicles are being promoted like there is no choice... before a universal charging method is established, or acknowledgement of where the electricity is generated.

Shelves of baby formula were empty or on limited supply in some areas. Several meat processing plants sustained significant damage from fire and other circumstances. A major pork processing plant in California closed because of costs.

And retail fuel prices are still on the way up.

“Thanks for the good news,” you might sarcastically say.

Yes, most of us know this. So what is the point.

When the latest coronavirus was announced a little more than two years ago, it was announced as an unseen enemy. The same could be said with the economy. Then again, maybe it is something of a multi-headed Hydra. We’re told fuel prices are a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, baby formula was sent to the U.S. from Europe and the source of retail packaged meat has been discussed for several years, even as consumers are encouraged to go meatless. And the finger-pointing continues.

Recently, social media was the home of a picture of what looked like a rancher’s entire herd of cattle laid out in the field with a big question implying a dark conspiracy, only to later have an extensive explanation of how a sudden change in temperature can kill cattle. One chapter of fear closed.

We’re still in a chapter of history where two thoughts need to be considered: just because the sky appears to be falling, doesn’t mean “Chicken Little” is right, and secondly how much are we willing to stand for? Chicken Little is known in comic world for running around in circles repeating “The Sky is Falling.” Interestingly, Penny, the chicken, was convinced the sky was falling and the king must be alerted based on an acorn falling on her, and she had no idea what an acorn was.

Clearly, there are chapters of society where an odd series of events are taking place. However, as the fairy tale explains, facts and context can make all the difference.

Secondly, how much are we willing to tolerate? Several years ago, a friend of mine told of how his apartment was broken into, while he was home. The thief made it clear he is taking the computer, stereo, basically anything he wanted.

My friend later told people his response was “Ok. I’ll get another.” He wasn’t quite so easy going when he had a family.

When society’s values change, do we go with the change or do we hold on to our values? Do we say “it’s just a little inconvenience,” or do we make it clear we intend on holding onto what we believe? Maybe the problem is so many of us have been the frog in the pot of water for so long we forgot what we have given up, or what we believe.

There was a time when if a person decided to do this, and not that, people might have had a quiet opinion but each went their separate ways. We’ve gone from that day to when mandates and peer pressure result in an expectation that all will be alike.

Spoiler Alert: we’re not. So, if a law or some kind of legislative mandate is issued requiring men to walk to work, have their pickup trucks perfectly shined before closing the day, and their wives to dress in a pink dress as they have dinner ready by 5, how many would comply and how many would reply with “Now, son we have a problem with that.”

Sometimes the “we are where we are because we choose to be” refers to society and our values. We believe what we do because we have chosen silence and compliance instead of getting involved.


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