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Opinion Letters

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.


Right now there will be many playing the "Blame Game" over the below average performance in student testing by the Macon County School. Usually teachers and parents each blame the other. Administrators blame inadequate funding, etc.

Here is an suggestion on how to improve the quality of education in Macon County: From kindergarten through at least the eighth grade, require that a parent accompany their child through a full day of school once a month, strictly as an observer. (Considerations would be needed for parents with multiple children as well as allowances for those with physical impairment.) This would place a parent in each classroom, all day, almost every day. A clearly labeled “Parent” seat should be provided in the back of each classroom. Both parents should be encouraged to attend and an evaluation should be requested at the conclusion of each visit. On each report card, there should be a grade for the attendance of the parent - passing or failing.


The leaves on the trees have been pretty this year and now, they’re falling. Why? What’s really going on?

Don’t ask the neighbors with the leaf blower, rake, burn pile or black plastic leaf bag. They are too busy cleaning up to understand that dead leaves are the gifts of the trees to the earth below... to provide cover (we call it mulch), food and nourishment and finally to break down to bring new life and fresh healthy soil. Ho hum .... just another amazing recycling job by the creator.


"Light of the world shine on me, love is the answer. Shine on us all, set us free, love is the answer," goes the pop song by England Dan from back in the 1980s. Another one is "Honesty is mostly what I need from you," by Billy Joel.

People are taking their own lives almost every week. One man I noticed near where I live died on his own birthday, age 62 years. I knew of his problem with alcohol and surmised that it probably was related. Another case a 31-yearold man died of drugs and alcohol "in the policeman's arms," according to the undertaker. But the tragedy didn't stop there as five days later his father, age 51, committed suicide according to my friend, the undertaker.


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