THREE ISSUES | Questions and quibbles for the 2012 elections

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Kyle Posten, a St. Paul resident and undergrad at Century College in White Bear Lake, gives the Twin Cities Daily Planet key points he thinks should be addressed in the 2012 elections by President Barack Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney. The interview took place over the social networking website, Facebook.

Forrester Pack: As a student of higher education, you mentioned during our introduction that educational issues were of particular concern to you during this election season.

Kyle Posten: Well, one topic that concerns me is educational funding. More funding for K-12, specifically. When I volunteered at a school as a teacher’s assistant, it made me realize how hard teachers work and how much help they need in the classroom. Teachers have to deal with kids who aren’t disciplined or are sometimes not completely prepared for coursework. Pretty much a second parent. Help is needed in classrooms, and money is the great equalizer.

FP: What were two other concerns resting with you?

KP: [Energy]. Clean energy and oil alternatives. I think some government funding and grants should go toward comapanies that are developing or studying cleaner energy, so we [as a nation] don’t have to depend on gasoline.

FP: Also during our introduction to each other, you told me you had some personal observations and insight into the conceptual issue of national energy needs. Could you go deeper here for our readers?

KP: Ever since gas prices has risen, I have noticed that it has affected sectors of the grocery industry. Especially the food distributors. For example, I worked at a grocery store for 8 years, and have watched how shelf prices of certain food products have gone up. One of the main reasons for the increase in price was higher fuel [gasoline] costs. Distributors [like J&J] would have to jack up food costs and cut jobs to cover losses from spending more on fuel just for transportation. As a result, grocery stores themselves would also have to raise prices to make up their portions of lost revenues [via later arrivals, shortages higher bottom line, etc]. I believe that energy alternatives to Big Oil will help lower overall energy prices in the long run, which as a corollary will help our economy and environment. 

FP: Is your last concern as imperative as the previous two?

KP: Yes, and that is Social Security. I’m [with] the whole deal that our generation may not be guranteed supplemantal money, via Social Security, when we retire. If this is the case, why should we as workers have to pay in money that we could be setting aside [through payroll taxes] ?