I too, like Bob Beane, am puzzled over Don Kennedy's car price comparisons... 1946 and now ("More rational thought needed," AFN, June17).

A quick check of the Consumer Price Index shows that $564 in 1946 is $6,437 in today's dollars. Add union wages and technology advances and it's no great shakes to get to $15,000 for a Ford Focus (five of my 18 patents are for advances in automotive electronic controls).

The 1946 Ford V-8 got 12.4MPG, but my 1961 Renault Dauphine got 40MPG, and it was four doors and bigger than today's "smart" cars. When I drove it from Cambridge to Scottsdale in 1962, gasoline could be purchased on the East Coast for 19 cents a gallon.

Beane then takes issue with my "nothing should be subsidized" stance, citing functions he thinks need subsidies.

However, it looks like Beane skipped the class at College of Wooster where they discussed the definition of "subsidy." Merriam-Webster online defines subsidy as "a grant by a government to a private person or company to assist an enterprise deemed advantageous to the public."

I agree with Beane that we need to see some new contributors to these pages. Presently, it would appear that those on the left outnumber those of us on the right by more than 4-to-1. I find it hard to believe that is an accurate representation of a high-tech community like Ahwatukee Foothills. But maybe it's so. I do expect Obama to be re-elected.

Jim Thompson

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