This week, the Spotlight publishes letters on frugality and global poverty.

A history and career in scrimping and saving

While manning the phones during lunch on July 5, 1978, I received a call from the Pentagon pertaining to estimated cost toward battalion participation in the NATO '78 Reforger exercise to be conducted in September. I informed the major the captain in charge of the flight hour program was out and to call back. He insisted he needed an estimate right away, ASAP.

Having served 19 months, 8 days, in Vietnam in an aviation unit, I gave the major simple instructions on aviation costs.

In combat, on average, only 73% of aircraft are flyable, and fly an average of 4.5 hours per day. Therefore, if our battalion has 48 AH-1G Cobra gunships, only 35 are available daily for 4.5 hours at $213 per hour for a cost of $33,547.59. Simple, basic math — just adjust the hourly cost per helicopter type, UH-1 at $157 amd OH-58 at $78.

In mid-October, I received a call back from the major praising my cost analysis. It seemed my estimate was 98.8% accurate. And so goes my introduction into the field of accounting, in which I received my degree 10 years later.

Between the current administration's progressive agenda and the pandemic, I can not fathom the long term effects of our government's excessive spending, nor the overinflated value of stocks on Wall Street, along with raising the hourly wage faster than the market can justify it.

Luckily, I paid off our house and vehicles years ago, we limit eating out, do not tip, and vote against any and all tax ballot measures. It's called economic survival. My VA disability and Medicare only increase an average of 1.3% per year, while inflation is buzzing along at 4.8%. Do the math.

Joe Turner, Columbia City

U.S. must support global poverty efforts

Oregon is home to thousands of refugees — in our classrooms, relying on the help of a stranger, or owning their own businesses.

Due to the impacts of COVID and climate change, the World Bank estimates that in 2021, we will see the first rise in global extreme poverty in 20 years. This reverses a steady decline of extreme poverty in the world due to U.S. aid and the efforts of many NGOS.

The impacts of COVID-19 are expected to cause between 143 million and 163 million people to fall into poverty just this year. Oregon will feel the effects of this rising catastrophe.

Now is the time for our Oregon senators to advocate for an increase in international poverty-reducing development and humanitarian assistance in fiscal year 2022. The innovative programs that this funding supports can help ensure that decades of development gains are not lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just as we and our senators cannot ignore the pain of those who suffer from homelessness and wildfires, neither can we ignore the plight of refugees. Addressing the root causes of poverty and climate change with sustainable solutions, will begin to alleviate the need for displacement.

The U.S. currently spends less than one-half of 1% of the total budget for poverty-reducing development and humanitarian aid. These funds support programs working to end world hunger and malnutrition. We have seen the positive effects of funding for vital humanitarian programs. It is essential to increase this support for basic human rights.

Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley, take the lead in securing additional aid for these critical life-saving programs. Your constituents support you.

Eileen Sleva, Hillsboro

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