Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If I only had some answers

This is one of those weeks when I have more questions than answers…

–How do young couples with children – just starting out on life’s long and winding road – afford relatively new homes in very nice neighborhoods, two late-model upscale imported vehicles (one is a sedan and the other is an SUV) and extravagant vacations and/or club memberships? What kind of jobs do they have? I want one.

–On the other hand, how does someone earning $350 a week (that’s about net for someone being paid $10 an hour) afford to buy a car and the gasoline to run it, let alone feed his family? The car dealer on TV says he’ll loan money for a car if you make at least that much. I’m not sure that’s good news.

–Do people really think it’s a wise idea to rent a flat screen HDTV for $29.95 a week from one of those merchandise rental companies that are conspicuously absent from affluent neighborhoods? That’s right $29.95 per week for a 60-inch TV. Note to folks: This is not a good investment.

–If kids are going to borrow most of the cost of their college educations, why on earth would they choose to go to a private college, paying its relatively costly tuition and room and board? Who’s advising these kids?

–Has anyone figured out what effect on the economy out-of-work government workers will have? That’s the next wave in the recession, you know. As the state shifts the tax burden to local government, cities, villages, townships and school districts will have to cut jobs and that means more unemployed people who can’t afford to buy anything of substance.

–What would members of the Tea Party think? That’s what I thought while I was attending a rather nice wedding at a yacht-laden private club on Lake Erie. Amid elegance and amenities, men in matching blue blazers dined in the club’s grillroom, no doubt serving up stories of their exploits on the lake, or on the club’s manicured golf course. Ladies and gentlemen … “The Haves.”

–How can President Barack Obama ignore the housing crisis in his jobs bill proposal? I mean one in four houses in this country is in stress or distress as a result of the recession and few new homes are being built because, well, no one can afford them (except that young, upwardly mobile couple above) and as a result contractors and the rest of the labor chain connected to the housing industry are hurting badly. I don’t think we’ll have a robust recovery until housing recovers. This is not rocket science.

–Who’s right or wrong about fracking? I’m a risk-vs.-reward kind of guy, so I have mixed feelings about the drilling process called fracking. I’m all for using our natural resources to our benefit (reward), but I also don’t want to damage our water supply (risk). Several states – not Ohio – have established moratoriums on fracking until the question gets a definitive answer. Perhaps the Tea Party should weigh in on this issue. Just kidding.

–How does a 15-year-old boy drive a Dover school bus to Canton, stopping at a McDonald’s restaurant and a Wal-Mart store, without anyone noticing? He wasn’t caught until after he parked the bus at Wal-Mart in New Philadelphia. There’s a lot more I could say about this incident, but in deference to the good people who publish this paper, I won’t.

–Does Gov. John Kasich really want to alienate the state’s mayors by threatening to collect their income tax revenue? Mayors across the state, according to news reports, are against the idea. It was not clear how Toledo Mayor Mike Bell (a Democrat who ran as an independent) feels about the idea. The ex-firefighter was busy defending his support of Senate Bill 5 (Issue 2 on the November ballot) to all the Toledo firefighters who he’s alienated.

–Have Republican Ron Paul’s supporters actually read his platform? I’ll give Paul credit for laying it all out in plain English on his official website. Obviously he’s not trying to woo those voters who believe in pro-choice, or are union members, or who believe the TSA does a pretty good job keeping airports safe, or those who believe there ought to be a government-created environmental watchdog, or who think home schooling might not be a great idea, or those who believe the Fed is an important aspect of our economic system, or … well, you get the idea. The polls show he’s got 12 percent support among Republicans today. And that’s probably about right.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK Dick...you want answers...here we go.

Young couples who have it all...It takes money...either inheirited or borrowed. If inheirited, then lucky them. If borrowed, then stupid them. They'll reach retirement with nothing saved because they spent everything they earned and then some...saving nothing.

How can you feed a family on $10 an hour. You can't. You shouldn't have a family if you can't provide for them. Why is that such a difficult thing to understand. Either improve your earning ability by learning skills or don't take on responsibilities you can't meet.

Renting TVs...it's the entitlement mentality. Like the young couples who spent it all and borrow the rest to have it all when they're 23 years old. I'm "entitled" to the big TV, the computer, the cell phones...even if they have to enter into an ill-advised contract to do it.

Laid off government workers? Government's too big anyway. I don't support paying taxes just so more people can be hired by government. Look at how local government employment levels have ballooned over the past few decades. Lower taxes and let the private sector hire the laid off government workers.

The "Haves"...I think your class envy is showing.

Housing vs Jobs...I think the housing crisis will just have to run its course. So many underwater mortgages and people who can't afford the payment they were foolish to take on in the first place (ahh..more entitlement thinking). Until all that flushes out the housing situation will continue in the tank.

Fracking too risky?...Depends on who you talk to. Maybe we should stick with coal. At least we know how many coal miners will probably die in the future in exploding mines. Water wells have gone bad ever since the Egyptians first dug one. It must have been those fracking Romans.

School bus joy ride...bet there will be tighter security from now on.

Kasich and the Toledo mayor...Kasich has been gov for about an hour and a half. Somebody needed to do something before Ohio dries up and blows away. I say, let him break some eggs and see how the omlet turns out.

Ron Paul...same thing. We need to challenge the conventional wisdom if for nothing else than to provide some new thinking among the traditional thinking R's and D's.

Any other questions?

Your friend,