– 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.
To read more from Dick Farrell, visit him at www.TuscBargainHunter.com .
Published: September 12, 2011