Real names only, please

Sue Daugherty
Mar 23, 2010

My previous blog, "My thoughts about angry bloggers and why they exist," seems to have resonated with quite a few people — pro and con.  I enjoyed the largely respectful discourse, but I'd like to experiment with one of the points made by the readers. 

Some bloggers contend that if the person commenting had to put their name to the words they wrote, the comments would be more respectful and less harmful and hurtful.

I'd like to make a request.  If you are going to comment on this week's blog use your real first name and your real last name.  True, I am trusting people will honor the "honor system" and yes, I do recognize that the unscrupulous will play the imposter. But for the sake of the spirit and intent of this blogging experiment, let's give a sincere try at being honest and public with our comments.  

OK,  here is this week's blog.

The high cost of gasoline, home heating and electricity is putting a real clamp on the American economy. Our economy is a mess.  Albert Einstein said something like, "The thinking that got us into this problem, is not the thinking that will get us out of it."

So I propose that we Americans change how we make decisions about consuming. What would happen if we did away with the typical American consumer mentality and stopped buying based on price alone?  What if we bought based on the value of putting an American back to work in addition to the price?  Not just one or the other, but both. It means that instead of having 20 pairs of pants or shirts in our closet, we might only own 7.

How would you respond?  Would you be willing to do that?

Maybe our current economic condition will provoke a new type of consumer mentality. Maybe U.S. citizens will start to understand that consuming doesn't mean you can have it all now and worry about paying for it tomorrow.  Because the reality is you can't.

We complain about the global race to the bottom and how we have to compete against workers in other parts of the world making pennies a day.  But as Americans we are responsible for this. We ourselves chase the cheapest price we can pay. 

Do those who are out of work, and we consumers, finally understand that  a microwave actually costs more than $69 to make? If we want to put Americans back to work, then we need to accept the fact that microwaves would cost more to manufacture "locally." Would the consumer be willing to pay more if it means putting our neighbors back to work?

If Americans would make this choice — the operative word is "choice" — I believe we would be well on our way to reviving our economy while at the same time not having so much "stuff" for the sake of having "stuff" (www.thestoryofstuff.com).  I realize that this means the typical American closet would have 7 shirts rather than 20, and each of those 7 shirt would cost much more. But the added benefit is your neighbor now has a job.

So what do you think?  Would you change your consumer habits to change our economy for the better? 

I welcome your comments — only with your real name, please.

Comments

Anonymous

If I only have 7 shirts, even if they are made in the U.S.A., I will have to do laundry more. Therefore, I will use more electricity and water. My neighbors are on welfare and don't want to work unless they get about $50 an hour, so the jobs created wouldn't go to them anyhow. I will, however, do my part for the country and start riding Bart's skateboard to the nuclear plant instead of driving my car.

Kelly

Sorry, Sue, but with all of the whackos out there, I'm not going to give out that much specific personal information. I'm a parent and I am not willing to post anything that might lead one of these people to myself or my children.

Sam

Once again why does she have a blog?
Answer because when she talks, Matt speaks.

Anonymous

Sue, I understand you position on people posting their names on the blogs, however, some of us are in a position where it is inappropriate to post our names. I usually try to contribute something meaningful.

With respect to buying American let me share this with you and everyone else. I recently wanted to purchase a cheese slicer, not a big deal. I wanted an AMERICAN MADE cheese slicer. I did not care if it was going to cost a lot more the one made in China. I looked in several places and could not find one. Mind you, I do not have a lot of time to be searching the internet, or driving all over. I check several local places anyone else may have checked I came up blank. I ended up getting something made in China. Very seldom any more do you find something with "made in the USA" stamped on it.

In all honesty, I have at times been dissapointed with American made goods, particularly automobiles. I had a 4 year old American made vehicle with only 33,000 miles on it. I was having brake problems. Turns out the pads were worn down, ok no big deal, pads wear out, but the local dealership told me the rotors were rusty and needed replacing. That was totally unacceptable, and cost me over $200 extra. I am all for buying American, I support Unions, but I wish companies would stand by their products.

Anonymous

Sue, I am not willing to use my name because of the politics in this town. If we all don't see eye to eye with one another, we are listed as a negative people. In Sandusky, you all must think alike. Blogs are just that, your opinion without someone knowing who you are. Freedom to express yourself without someone thinking you are a negative thinker because you don't think like they do. It would be a dull world if we all thought alike and went with the crowd. By the way, try to buy something American; it is impossible.

Anonymous

Sue, I won't even address the issue of signing my "name" to this as I believe it to be irrelevant unless it would be some type of demeaning, filthy, or lude comment, which this is'nt.
The main problem in the American workforce (including employees as well as employers) is GREED. In one of your earlier blogs, someone quoted the Biblical text that states "out of the heart...", and this covers and abundance of issues, including GREED. The apostle Paul wrote that we are to be content with what we have. That does not mean that we cannot better ourselves and strive for a better position both economically and in society. But, it does mean that we should not do so at the expense of our fellow man.
Workers at various plants and across this country kept 'raising the bar' by driving their contracts up for higher and higher wages. This meant the profit for the companies kept dropping, so they in turn would increase the price of goods. When it got to the point that this was no longer a feasible choice (Japan was producing automobiles and electronics at cheaper costs), they began to cut at the "quality" of the American product. The "failure" of the product was literally built into the item, so this would "insure" continued upkeep and purchases. American workers (backed by the self serving unions) when pushed by the companies to 'produce more' would do things like damage their own production equipment so they could have more 'down time' and even be sent home with pay. I myself have heard some of these same workers 'joke' about this practice. But now the chickens have come home to roost.
American companies have gone international. Why pay an American worker (who only does a mediocre job) $30.00 an hour (Plus benefits), when they could pay some one in Mexico $5.00 an hour (No benefits) to produce the same product with about the same quality level?
In America it was at one time known, (and throughout the world) that if it was made here, it was the BEST product you could possibly purchase. Today, this is no longer true. And whether we want to admit it or not we know it is so.

Elwood

Sue,

I can't believe you would think for one minute that folks who blog would use their real name. You can't really be that naive.
Blogging is a chance for every day folks, and a few weirdo's to state their opinion on anything. It is their moment in the sun. The blogger can pretty much say anything about anything, true or false, stupid or intelligent, it makes no difference.
If you want bloggers to list their real names, and take full responsibility for their words and actions, then the readers forum would be a better choice, but here the blogger shall remain anonymous, that's just the way it is.

Anonymous

I was wondering if anyone saw Barrack Obama's speech today? (From Lansing Michigan) We was largely speaking about energey independence, and putting Americans back to work. In particular he mentioned plug-in hybrids and electric cars. I am all about stretching the dollar, as most others are. I would be willing to entertain the idea of an American plug-in hybrid, but I want quality and reliability. It seems foolish to save a few dollars at the gas pump only to have to turn around and spend the money on maintenance.

It is hard to define what is an "American Car" these days. A Ford Fusion is built in Mexico, a Honda Accord in built in Ohio. Both cars are of fairly high quality. Which vehicle is providing more jobs for Americans? I am aware the Honda plant is non-union, but I am certain the American Honda workers are making a lot more then the Mexican Ford workers (who are also non-union).

I am not against Unions. Unions are important to keep the work place safe, and to assure the workers are treated and paid fairly (paid enough to maintain a comfortable standard of living). However, some of the workers are grossly overpaid for their work, and the Unions protect workers even when they become counter-productive or disruptive. Getting paid $25, $30, or more an hour for shooting screws? Anyone can do that. Around here $25 an hour can let you live very comfortably. There should be a limit as to how much one is paid for mediocre work. Positions requiring skill should certainly be paid more, such as welders, chemists, ect. It seems some of the Unions have gotten greedy, and this caused some of the plants to be moved out of the country. I'd like to see these jobs come back, but don't expect them too.

Anonymous

so much for that theory huh.

Anonymous

Hello Sue...

I just thought I'd share with you some of the "chat about town" that has been floating around the last few weeks.

It would appear that Perkins Township is about to lose another business, only this time it involves a pharmacy as well.

I'm posting here because of your involvement with "Serving our Seniors." I'm sure that Annie Zelm may have information on this that she may be able to support. I would imagine there will be alot of prescriptions that need to "transfer" prior to the end of August that do involve Senior Citizens.

Just an FYI and a Head's Up!

Anonymous

I just looked up the word "naive"... and Sue's picture was there.

Anonymous

Sue, you must be joking about us using our real names on here! I am too frightened of some of the freaky, whacko people who frequent these comment sections to ever use my real name. I do not abuse the privelege when I post, but I still want to remain anonymous for my own safety.

Anonymous

OH!OH!OH! (sreaming loudly) Are you kidding me? You think these losers will post there real names? They are all direct decedents of Satan spewing unadulterated vile straight from the bowels of hell. How do I know this? I was once maried to one of them! OH!OH!OH!!!

Anonymous

OK, I posted my real name. Now watch people make fun of my name. My friend Di*k cannot post his real name because the SR will not allow it.

Anonymous

Hey Sue,

GET OVER YOURSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous

Unfortunatly, I don't see that happening in the near future. :(

Anonymous

Sorry, Sue. I already have a higher profile than I'd like. I gave you one of my e-mail addresses as a gesture of good faith. You can ID me rather easily.

Let's do an experiment. Go through your house and throw away anything that wasn't 100% made in the USA. You'll probably be naked, shoeless, and without a toothbrush.

A friend asked me how Honda and Toyota consistently come out on top of consumer satisfaction and product quality surveys. Easy. The Japanese worker is obsessed by the quality of his product, while the American worker is focused on the quality of his paycheck. It's sad, it's cynical, and unfortunately, it's true.

What am I doing about it? I give my employers more than they pay for. I treat my job as if I own the company. Job one for me is to make everyone else's job easier. I'm not doing it for the money. I'm doing it because I believe in the company and our products. If more Americans would adopt a similar philosophy, we could recapture our rightful place as the world's economic powerhouse.

Until then, we'll just have to blame the Chinese for our buying habits.

Anonymous

I recently happened to hear an astute gentleman on a business show say something to the effect that, Americans idea of ‘saving’ is to go to a $1 discount store as opposed to a Target so they can buy more.

Keynesian or demand-side economics has been the dominant economic philosophy for practically seventy years in the U.S.

Over seventy percent of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – the total of all goods and services produced by our county – is dependent upon the consumer.

We’ve reached a point in the history of this country where in order for our national economy to totally function, people need to buy stuff.

Additionally, many of our politicians are calling for another economic stimulus package to get more money to consumers so they can buy stuff.

It’s a viscous cycle where our country is transferring it’s wealth offshore and other countries like China and Japan are holding our securities (U.S. Treasuries) to help keep our interest rates low, so we can buy more stuff at affordable prices.

Americans are addicted to cheap goods and lots of it. To own less stuff at better quality would IMO be perceived as a lowering of standards of living.

Why do buffets and fast food places flourish, while restaurants with good quality, but costlier food are few to non-existent in the Sandusky area?

We want our wages to be high and the prices of our products that we buy low. Without constantly increasing productivity, that is an unsustainable contradiction.

Anonymous

I just heard that this weekend also. I heard that The Pharm is closing at the end of August. That stinks, I shop there. Very convenient place to grab anything from toilet paper to dog food to birthday cards. I hope something similar goes in there.

Anonymous

Did you really need the hear this assessment from the "astute gentleman on a business show"? Heck, I'm barely smarter than my dog and I had that figured out. Identifying an obvious problem means nothing. Give me a real solution that does not consist of "stimulus" packages to further promulgate the consumer dynamics to our economy. Give me PRODUCTION solutions from the SUPPLY SIDE, not the demand side. Now, please excuse me while I go pee on a tree.

Anonymous

Another marxist has been exposed. Limiting my purchasing power so as I can help my comrade keep his job. I need more wodka!!

Anonymous

The assumption you have made that the economy is a mess,comes from the DNC and the main stream media. It is the first thing all the loonies on the left keep bringing up. The GNP grew last quarter albeit small, it still grew and ignored by the drive by media.How can it be that we have so many boating accidents this year why with the high price of gas and this recession fueled by the democratic party and the drive bys, no boats should be on the lake at all! I work on pib and for the past month the marinas have been very profitable. In fact Christmas in July was the biggest money maker ever for most establishments,in a recession? The only people hurting are the democratic base, those people on entitlements(welfare for those of you in the hood) The people working hard for their money are not affected judging by the amount of boats on the lake with the soooo high price of gas. Please espouse you leftist view to someone who cares, I don't

cm.sandusky

i agree with you ferd burley.. the mainstream media is, well the are evil in my eyes. just listening to them makes some people question their own outlook. they don't actually check statistics, they will buy into whatever the media tells them they should believe it.
just check out the news. when things were bad in Irac, all you saw was negative. now that things are turning around....well, just how much news is devoted to Irac anymore. it's not like the news is going to show you anything positive. it doesn't sell.
so, now they are turning the page and concentrating on the economy.
now, i'm not saying everything is great, but it's not as bad as they want to to believe.
as for buying "American Made"
well,...where??? we are not the only country with this problem. go to europe, try finding something made in Germany, it's just as hard. this is a global problem.

Anonymous

Look at this pathetic leftist paper's world news source the AP,who knowingly edited pictures in Iraq to support their leftist liberal belief that the United States of America is bad. We have to blend in with the world community. Yet our military has liberated more oppressed people than any other civilization that has ever been on this earth. AP stinks and I'm proud to be an american

cm.sandusky

i'm also proud to be an american (by choice). this is the greatest country in the world.
i'm neither a lefty or righty. i'm proud to call myself an independent. there is no way that i can 100% agree with one or the other side. first of all, no matter what "never trust a politican" although i agree they all (well, i should say "most") started with good intend, the greed of wanting the power, and i'm not only talking about he top-job, changed them somewhere in their path.
we, as taxpaying citizens should be outraged that our leaders took a five week break, paid for by us. we should be outraged that 77 or 78% of our citizens want drilling, and they can't even get the vote going...i'm for one outraged..
we are the greatest nation on earth. there is room to do it ALL. why argue about which is better.
sorry sue, i kind of highjaked your blog.
united we stand, devided we fall...!!

Anonymous

ferd burley here, am I sir to assume that it was only in the past seventy years that americans bought anything? So from 1776 to 1930 our economy was non existent? Nobody bought anything, the years that developed us into a great country was based on smoke and mirrors? Is the keynesian principle based on the Kinsey report. Me thinks the left intelligencia smoke crack

Anonymous

Being that a high percentage of residents of this county are on entitlements(welfare) they can't afford local restaurants, they hang on to the one dollar big mac. They have no hope of raises un till they try to elect B. Hussein Obama

Anonymous

gotta love this fresh off the drudge report. Obama blaming our energy crisis on Cheney sounds like a Hufftard,Nancy pelosi telling democrats involved in tight races that they support drilling offshore and elsewhere, and finally John Mccains statement at Sturgis that he would rather hear the roar of 50 thousand harleys than 100,ooo berliners slamming B. Huusein's europe trip. Gotta love it!

Anonymous

I agree with the majority. I use professional blogs quite often, and none of us use our real names. If we want to expose ourselves to certain blogs (which I have done with other professionals), we will create a new e-mail account through Yahoo or another service and provide our e-mail address in order to communicate outside of the blog. If professionals are not willing to put their names out to the general public on professional blogs that might actually help them in their career, why would they place their personal information in a blog in this small of a town? I am surprised that Ms. Daugherty would even suggest such a thing. It may not have much to do with the fact many of us want to hurt or insult others, but rather maintain our family’s privacy in this town.

Quite frankly, if we want to open our personal lives, homes and professional lives to the general public, we would start our own blog where we would identify ourselves. I can assure you, those who indicated that everyone should use their real names in blogs (any blog), don’t use their real names. Using a stealth name in blogging isn’t what is uncouth; rather it’s the unintelligent posts and tactless words which are used that are the issue. This feels like we are being scolded in high school for writing a note that we didn’t want to sign. This is child’s play Ms. Daugherty. Simply challenge people’s thoughts and intelligence through your blog. That is what it’s about. If you feel the need to get to know the people who participate in your blog, host a gathering at the library or another location where everyone can meet face to face.

Anonymous

From one extreme to the other? I too care about my job & product we make. I also care more about my family though - call me selfish.

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