Ken Schechtman | St. Louis Public Radio

Ken Schechtman

Ken Schechtman

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Some years ago at a scientific meeting in Sweden, a conversation with a local resident veered toward gun policy in the United States. You have tens of thousands of gun deaths annually, my companion intoned, and the trend is to make guns easier to access so more people can have them!

This was not a casual assertion that U.S. gun policy is imperfect. It was not an invitation to explore alternatives.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: During his 2009 Cairo speech, President Barack Obama acknowledged that in 1953 “the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government.” The complex history that coup exemplifies must be understood as we interpret the moderate persona of Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new president. In particular, as negotiations begin this week, Mr. Obama should recall his 2009 speech and remain sensitive to the sometimes-sordid role we have played in Iran’s history.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Multiple reports about reduced carbon emissions in the United States are deceptively optimistic.

The apparent upside includes World Bank data reporting per-capita U.S. emission decreases of 12.4 percent from 2005 to 2009, with per capita energy use achieving a post 1967 nadir. Similarly, the International Energy Agency indicates that the U.S. had the world’s largest global emissions decrease in the last six years; that our share of the global total declined from 26 percent in 1980 to 16 percent today.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 30, 2012 - As CEO of this great financial institution, I remind this shareholder gathering that we have $5 billion in toxic loans, many awaiting foreclosure. The market has built into our stock price the losses this implies, and if we continue current policies, equity value will increase.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 23, 2011 - If your job is unrelated and your car axle avoids potholes, infrastructure is boring. Wall Street occupiers don't pontificate about sewer reconstruction. Tea party acolytes are agnostic regarding bridge safety regulations. Politicians somnambulate through "rebuild the infrastructure" rituals as they segue to sexier orations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 25, 2011 - If you are a Republican, you see our economic circumstance as reflecting too much of too many things: government, taxation, regulation, deficits. You see these excesses as stifling a market that would lift all boats if we would only leave it alone.

For you, the naissance of our current plight lies in inadequate obeisance to the Reagan-era mantra that "government is the enemy."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 28, 2011 - If he is inclined toward optimism about his political future, President Barack Obama may find comfort in the polls and in deficit-reduction proposals that have positioned him as a deficit hawk who seeks higher taxes for the wealthy, two key concerns of independent voters.

In 1982, Ronald Reagan signed into law both the Highway Revenue Act and the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TERFA). The Highway Act raised gasoline and trucking industry taxes. And with a yield of about 1 percent of the gross domestic product, TERFA is commonly viewed as the largest tax increase in peace time American history.

But 1982 was just a start in that Reagan initialed new tax increases every year from 1982-87. His 1983 social security tax hikes are still being implemented today.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 25, 2008 - Ameren UE's pursuit of a second nuclear power plant should be viewed by environmentalist opponents as a challenge and an opportunity. To see why, let's start with a menu of pro and con arguments.