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Delayed consequences

Behavioral psychologists like me look at the problem of self-control as a result of the human trait of being more strongly influenced by immediate, small rewards and less strongly influenced by delayed, larger punishments. Think immediate pleasure from smoking, eating too much unhealthy food, engaging in unprotected sex and driving gas guzzlers vs. delayed heart and lung disease, obesity, unwanted pregnancies and global warming.

From this perspective, I fear that the result of the Trump tax scam will be that the people who get a few hundred- or thousand-dollar tax reduction in the next couple of years will be bamboozled into thinking that they have gotten a good deal while corporations and the mega-rich reap the lion’s share of the changes and the delayed consequences of mammoth increases in the deficit and the resulting attacks on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and environmental and other social concerns, will only come to roost later. But then, I am speaking from a scientific point of view and we all know how much that matters with the bozos in power.

R.S. Heaps

Spokane Valley


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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.