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Opinion Letters

We're all intrigued with a good story, but as in many stories, they have a shelf life of only a generation or two if lucky. The old nursery rhymes and children’s stories seem not to last forever or they're replaced by a more modern or twisted version. Even within movies that tell a story they have to have a continued sequel to keep the story alive or it will find a short existence and fade as a distant memory, as with the authors that produce them.

But there are only two stories that are the exception, and both are told throughout every nation on earth, and the story has never changed since its beginning. It would seem that the world stops and takes pause just to listen and reflect when the stories of Christmas and Easter come to all of us once every year. Yet it seems the world never grows tired of these stories that touch the heart, soul and minds of many.

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If people would merely bring their own shopping bags to the grocery stores, it would save so much in the way of plastic and paper pollution. (Yes, even production of paper puts dangerous carcinogens like dioxin in the air). Even recycling plastic still puts dangerous chemicals out into the environment when the process is done, not to mention the first time it is made. Let's take care of our planet and our children's health. It might be a small thing, but everything contributes.

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I am sincerely hopeful that the good people of Macon County, especially those involved with education (both educators and parents) will consider very mindfully the sound and right-minded advice Tom Hill offered in his letter of Nov. 26, "How to improve our schools."

There are two methods by which we learn, in the halls of learning (our schools) and in the conflicts of life. We must make sure we provide our children the very best of the former in order to prepare them for when they inevitably come face to face with the latter.

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As I write this, the stock market is hovering around record highs. The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates low to stimulate borrowing and investment. Corporate profits are generally high and many companies are sitting on record amounts of cash. This should be the sign of a booming economy that is creating lots of jobs. In reality, the economy is stagnant and unemployment is stubbornly high. So what is the problem?

The problem is demand. The people who would buy the products that these companies make don’t have the money to purchase them. It’s fairly simple. There are two parts of a consumer economy: Producers and consumers. If there’s no demand for the products, companies are not going to invest in more capacity and jobs. In this economy, it’s the consumers who are missing. While the wealthy certainly consume, there’s a limit to how much stuff they can buy that will stimulate the core economy.

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