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

(Don't say my name to fast). Sue believe it or not we were taught to always try to buy American. Sometimes a value costs more, but buys you back in the long run, tools, equipment, dwellings, etc.

Anonymous

sorry , "but pays you back"

Anonymous

First of all, I think that the "real names" idea is wonderful. If there was a rule that you had to identify yourself by your real name in order to comment, there would be less angry bloggers. But however, in the wonderful world of anonymity, angry people can leave comments without true judgement of their character because no one knows exactly who they are.

The sad side of free speech. People often take adventage of it.

On your actual blog, however, I do believe that if there was a mass effort to help the economy by changing our consumer habits, it would do a lot of good.

Saddly, people are more concerned with convenience of low prices then their fellow man (or woman ^_^).

It's human nature. Along the lines of 'Survival of the fittest.' To look after one's self.

I do believe that this economy is in need of help, and only the people who are willing to make a difference, actually will.

Anonymous

This blog really stinks too.

Anonymous

I agree that the economic hardship is mostly media driven at this point. Your suggestion that we should buy the more expensive product to help our neighbor is absurd, im afraid that it doesnt work that way.
The main reason that the United States has been and always will be the leader of the free world is the capatilistic economy. As an American we all have the oppurtunity to achieve greatness. You have to be willing to work for it. All too often people reach for a handout and when it comes they get a taste of laziness and never feel the need to earn again.
So the next time that socialist Barry HUISSEIN Obama says his idea for solving the country's problems is more social programs or government regulation remember this post when the economy is actually in a recession and the country truly becomes in debt because of nationalized health care and the level of care you receive is drastically reduced. Its time to wake up and get educated about this election, there is too much at stake. Throwing away your vote because Obama is a democrat or just because he is black is the most reckless thing a person can do.

Anonymous

no thanks to real names.

i made up this one and some wierdo hijacked it. there are dangerous people hiding out there in lala land.

Anonymous

I had to think about this again. What would happened if someone hijacked my name? It might be better to just publish the IP address along with the comment. But even publishing the IP address is not a sure-fire thing. Dynamic IP addresses can keep changing and people with those proxy IP addresses will use fake IP addresses. Excuse while I find some different sunglasses. Does anybody know where I can find those over-sized, clown sunglasses that you can find at a flea market or on ebay?

Anonymous

That one sentence should say "Excuse me while I find some different sunglasses."

Anonymous

Pseudonyms have an honored tradition in U.S. political thought.

Writing in newspapers, supporters of certain provisions of the yet-to-be-ratified Constitution like Alexander Hamilton chose the name Publius. Other writers selected the names: Brutus, Philo-Publius and Cato.

There ain’t nothin’ wrong with using a good username (pseudonym). Even our nation’s Founding Fathers practiced it.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fed...

To Real Name: You are smarter than your doggie. You got the drift of my argument. We agree. Trying to lead, not preach. NOW how to put supply-side into practice in the U.S. without getting lynched by the masses???

Anonymous

ok...

sam.

Anonymous

Real name is Michael. ok ?

Anonymous

How's are little socialist Sue today

Anonymous

Americans can not afford to buy strictly American. Do you realize how much it would cost to get by? If you work at one of our many service industries, say McDonald's or Kalahari, when you go to buy a new sofa for example, will you be able to afford to shop at Herman's? No. You will have to go to Value City or Big Lots. Same for clothing. Have you ever priced clothing made in America? The prices are so high, you get a fraction of the amount for the money ie. one pair of jeans as compared to 4 made out of this country. The list of examples is endless. I don't want to say unions are the sole problem, but a large part of it. Nothing can be made here for a reasonable price when you have to pay someone an outrageous wage to do it. As for socialized health care, people on assistance have a sense of entitlement. Not all, but most. They go to the doctor or emergency room for a hangnail or a sniffle because it doesn't cost them anything. When you have to pay for something, you use it a lot more sparingly and responsibly. I am not going to use my real name for the same reason as most people who post here. Wackos who don't like what I have to say could retaliate.

Rick Studer

To “seymour butts”, formerly known as “Needs more Brain Cells”

" How's are little socialist Sue today "

Seymour, shouldn’t this read " How's “our” little socialist Sue today "?

Why don’t you impress us all and explain what socialism is in your own words, and don’t do a cut and paste. Hey, what’s the difference between socialism and communism?

To “Re Sues Blog”

You’re priceless…

Let me help you, get a picture of you’re a$$ , and a hole in the ground and label them. Always carry these with you, whenever you’re confused, pull them out and look at them.

Anonymous

Dollar Tree has the clown sunglasses but don't you think they might be a little small for ya?

Anonymous

They used to hae those giant sunglasses at the gift shop at Cedar Point.

Anonymous

They used to have those giant sunglasses at the gift shop at Cedar Point.

Anonymous

correct spelling
Barack Hussein Obama

Anonymous

Why on Earth would anyone use their real name on this blog when there are folks out there who will do whatever is needed to find out any and everything a person has done in his or her lifetime? "Its all public record right"?

Even people who post positive comments get dragged though the mud when someone with nothing better to do pulls up their past and throws it in their face for all to see.

Maybe if the Register had stricter control over these blogs, then people wouldn't find it necessary to conceal their identity?

Rick Studer

Well... I guess you can't say a.. on the Internet either...

You have to get dirty if you want to wrestle with pigs...

William Jeffers...

Sue, I think it is a great idea to use your real name on these blogs and I've done just that and I encourage everyone else to do the same.

Anonymous

Bill, I told you no internet after that last porno stint. Why are you talking to this woman and didn't secret service tell you not to use your real name? Now I'm cuttin you off for another decade.

Anonymous

Ever since I invented the internet I thought maybe it might get abused. I am ashamed that I didn't put in safeguards requiring people to disclose exactly who they are just like Sue points out.

Anonymous

The postings at 9:12, 9:16, and 9:19 all originated from the same IP address. It took me awhile, but I was able to trace it back to a computer in Crawford, Texas.

Anonymous

I admit it. They were all from me.

Gulliver

This has been great participation!!! Why/how bloggers will blog seems to be a popular topic. The response to this blog has been very interesting and largely respectful. Not only is it interesting in terms of exchanging views on economics, but the sociology of the interaction is fascinating.
While reading the comments, here is what I observed (this is not being stated as a fact – simply observations):

There are a lot of feelings associated with asking people to use their real names. One person felt scolded. So let me clear the air on that one… This was just a request – nothing more. It doesn’t make anyone a bad person for refusing; nor does it make anyone a good person for doing. It was simply a one time request to experiment with the notion that bloggers would comment differently if they had to own the words they post.

Others were angry over the request being made. Some name calling ensued in response to the request.

The other interesting thing is the amount of fear expressed with being asked to put the real name with the comment. The fear was palpable!! If the blog was controversial – ie, abortion, it would be easy to understand. But this blog is a “What if" question… and it's about consumer spending & consumer choice.

But for the most part it has been encouraging to read how respectful the majority of the responses are, while still expressing their disagreements or counter points. Now that makes for some great blogging!! ...And it isn't requiring the use of real names. So much for that hypothesis! -- Sue

Anonymous

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

- Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Anonymous

I would have to say, We are at fault for wanting cheap goods.. But the person most at fault is the VP, CEO, and board members of most American Company's.. The business of kicking the common worker down and keeping him down while the VP, CEO, and such make crazy millions a year in salary and bonuses while they pay the average hourly employee 6.50 an hr.... If the said American Company would learn that their company would not be a company without the Common American worker, then maybe I might reward that company buy purchasing their product.. And reward that worker for his years of loyal service instead of finding a new loophole to fire him 2 years away from retirement. The practice of charging $1,000 for something that costs $100.00 to make is why America looks for cheap goods.. Are we not learning anything from Ford or GM ??? There are 20 people trying to get rich from that 1 car or truck/SUV they are trying to sell.. Most American goods are made from the cheapest material or parts they kind find and then marked up as high possible without starting a riot.. That is what has driven the American consumer away from American goods... DO not get me wrong, I am all for getting rich just as much as the next guy or woman...But its how they are getting rich.. And I see more and more of American Company's screwing the American consumer over until they get caught.... So lets examine a Company that does reward it's workers... Murphy Oil Co.. The little gas stations outside of Wal-Mart, They are based out of El Dorado Ark.. They pay well and offer good benefit's , they reward the people of that town by sending any child that goes all 4 years of high school there with a paid for Collage Education.. The VP, CEO make good money, but not crazy mad money... I reward that company buy always filling my cars up at their Gas Stations... Show me another Company like Murphy Oil Co, And I will be more than happy to start shopping there.... So I ask you this America, Am I wrong in my perceptions of American Company's ? Or do you agree with me.. And yes Ed Pannell is my real name... Born at Bellevue Hospital...

Anonymous

Hummmmm your points are well made... One of the best comments on here..

Gulliver

TO Ed PANNELLL, Thank you for your mindful, thought provoking comments. It will make for some interesting reading should anyone make any counter-points. Glad you decided to participate! -- Sue

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