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September 16, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Oil, not Reagan, led to end of USSR

Chuck Muth wants to name a mountain in Las Vegas after former President Ronald Reagan. Mount Reagan would be appropriate if it were hidden somewhere inside Nevada’s Sheep Range but not out in the open for all to see.

Adoration myths and other folklore about Reagan abound. Take, for example, Reagan’s supply-side economic theory, that lowering taxes on the rich would cause money to trickle down to the not-so-rich, thereby elevating everyone’s economic condition. This has been debunked by reality.

While in office, former movie actor Reagan had his best theater performance, and that says a lot about a second-rate actor.

Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” proclamation and the Strategic Defense Initiative, known as “Star Wars,” had little to do with the ultimate 1980s breakup of the Soviet Union, with Russia emerging as a smaller, less influential country.

The demise of the USSR wasn’t caused by Reagan’s slick pontifications; it was all about diminished oil revenues. Russia continues to have only two attributes worth noting, a large arsenal of nuclear weapons and huge oil and gas reserves.

In the 1980s, oil prices plummeted to as low as $10 per barrel. The USSR’s economy tanked and the Soviet Union dissolved. Oil is still the mainstay of the Russian economy.

Drive the price of oil down and Russia once again becomes just a poor country with a nuclear arsenal.

How to make this happen is unknown, but when it does, let’s name a mountain after that president.

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