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

I thought Ed Pannell's blog stunk.

concerned

With all the lead paint being shiped in during the Christmas season, I tried to find toys not made in China. Unfortunitly, if I decided to pursue that, my children would have had only crayons. I went to several store and only hand crafted wooden toys or crayons were to be found. That is was is left. I don't know, but I think my children would have been pretty disappointed.

concerned

Sorry about the mispelled words. First blog posting. Got a little nervous.

Anonymous

Make no mistake; Chinese quality will continue to improve.

U.S manufactured consumer goods also have a long and storied history regarding product safety and quality.

The label 'Made in Japan,' was once synonymous with 'cheap.' Now we tend to think of their products as high quality.

The Chinese understand very well that an economy built on low-cost items is not sustainable. They are continually moving into higher tech items like computers and aerospace. In Nov. 2007, they placed a satellite into lunar orbit and have plans for an eventual manned landing.

The U.S. era of high-pay, low-skilled manufacturing jobs is dead – never to return. We have become a service economy, which in many cases is low skilled, but also unfortunately low-wage.

To ask low skilled, high-pay manufacturing to return would be akin to asking U.S. citizens to return to the farm to grow crops. It ain’t gonna happen.

I helped pay my way through college by working in factories (American Crayon for one). I tend to believe that the majority of people and politicians who talks about how ‘great’ manufacturing jobs are have never worked in one.

Mr. Pannell: With all due respect, how many ‘greedy, rich’ heads of companies do you personally know, or is your largely straw man argument only based on media and Hollywood bias?

concerned: Write comments on Word and run through spell check. Then copy and paste. It's not 100% but it helps.

Anonymous

Real Name.. I work for one of them right now.. Its not a media contribution where I get my information.. I live it everyday...

Anonymous

You can also download a free Google toolbar that lets you spellcheck. (the green checkmark).
Here is where:
http://toolbar.google.com/T4/ind...

Anonymous

Yes I would change my purchasing habits if it means that my neighbor is working. This would put many out of work citizens back into the swing of things and possibly save this economy of ours from total destruction.

Anonymous

The CEO's and other high ranking officers of companys do get paid way to much. They are not the only reason for the high costs of items. The stock holders, which most are already rich, are to blame also. They keep the pressure on the CEO's to produce and make more money for them and if not they are replaced. When unions see in the media that, for example, the oil companys made 1 billion profit in the last quarter they turn around and say, why can't we have some of this. The stockholders and CEO's then want to keep their profit margin as high as possible will raise the price of the goods to the consumer. It is a constant circle that will only be broken when workers and company officials and stockholders realize they have enough, how much is to much. When the companies do not share then the worker has to increase his take of income by buying cheaper. Thus starts the slow downturn. I try to buy American whenever I can, I have found that the cheaper products made elsewhere is far inferior in quality then the American made one, however, I could buy two to three times the same product by buying foreign made items. Greed seems to be the bottom line. You all know that these athletes that play football, baseball or any other well known game are not worth what they are getting paid, but you still buy their products, go to the games they are playing in, buy the expensive pop or hotdog or beer. If the American consumer would just say enough is enough, we might be able to get control of the American way of life.

Anonymous

Nightstalker:

'The stock holders, which most are already rich...'

Ya need to get your facts straight.

The vast majority of the equities and fixed assets of public cos. are held by public and private pension funds for the benefit of their employees. A minority of the assets are in IRAs and other tax favorable vehicles owned by individuals.

If you are part of a retirement plan at work, you own some of these assets and are in your words, 'rich.'

I wish to God that they'd start teaching personal finance in schools and perhaps begin to dispel some of this economic and financial ignorance!

The whiners cry like they live in Somalia instead of the wealthiest, freest country in the world.

Ain't it great to live in America?

Anonymous

Contrary to what you want to believe, the greatest amount of stocks held are by people that are in truth already wealthy. While there are more individual stock holders that are not wealthy, the greatest percentage of stock is held by the wealthy. The paltry amount of shares held by individuals pales in comparision to the high percentage held by the wealthy. When you are talking about thousands of shares, they are talking about millions of shares. When someone holds 49% of a company stock and the other 51% is held by countless individuals, the 49% holder owns far more shares then any one of the other 51% do. That is the facts.

Anonymous

Wanna go out sometime hunny?

Anonymous

Re Real Name: Unfortunately you’re wrong.

Institutional investors, i.e. pension plans both private and public own approx. 90% of publicly held stocks and bonds. Individuals own the remaining 10%.

More than fifty percent of U.S. households own stocks mostly through byway of mutual funds in their 401(k)s and IRAs.

What's your definition of wealthy?

The wealthiest man in the world, Warren Buffett made his money, investing in stocks and bonds. Go and do likewise.

Anonymous

It's very simple. Give people jobs that are reliable and they'll spend money. Trouble is, the jobs are gone and no one (government) seems to care. Their buddies (big business) are all making money so why rock the boat? They can give 100 stimulas checks but that doesn't give anyone a steady reliable income. American doesn't belong to us anymore. Little by little, we allowed it to be given away or sold off. That's another pet peeve of mine. Not one pebble of earth should be sold to anyone who is NOT a citizen of this country. I truly believe we are beyond the point of no return. Somewhere along the line, we were sold out by our own government for the sake of money in someone else's pocket. Neither Dems or Republicans can fix it, yet they'll give all their fancy speeches and we'll put one of them in just to be grossly dissapointed once again. I think the people need to take a stand (in the streets if necessary) to take our country back and own it again. At this rate, we're headed for no where and our politicians are spearheading the race. And Sue, show me where the American products are, and I'll gladly buy them. Your plea to buy American is too little, too late.

Anonymous

you are wrong, wealth isn't measured in dollars. money is only a tool. yes we all need some but how much? can you purchase good health with it? how about a good marriage, or contentment? those who get caught up in money seem to be so miserable.

Anonymous

i think your oppinion sounds somewhat reasonable, but i also have to agree with some of the others below on certain points that they have addressed.

Anonymous

This s*cks. I like that young chick better.

Anonymous

I think it's totally awesome that Sue is essentially quoting me when she suggests we all buy American so our neighbors can have jobs, and that we settle for less so that we can afford to pay more! "From each according to his ability to each according to his needs" indeed!

Maybe we'd all have more money to spend if Sue, and people like her, would stop greedily gulping our tax dollars! Maybe I'd be more inclined to buy more (American-made and otherwise) if I had something left over after all of the levies have bloated my property taxes beyond my capacity to afford!

Re: Nameless, the government can't create jobs. It can only make it hard(er) for private industry to create jobs by over-regulating, over-taxing, and requiring overwhelming contributions to its own machinations. If you really want more jobs, get government the hell out of the picture.

Re: reREAL NAme, no, money isn't everything. But try to survive without it! We may all have to if Sue gets her way...

Anonymous

For the most part these blogs serve two purposes, 1 to slam people and the residents in perkins and sandusky and 2 to make a complete fool out of your self. We have kids and very immature parents that post on fandy and are anything but polite and respectful on what they post. The blogs i read about in the local area whether it be about mclung out or a kkk prank, its makes me embarassed to be from sandusky. I will admit i have written some dumbs things but i always come back with an apology for it. I wont lie though i speak my mind and i wont back down from anyone or anything on what i believe it i think bloggers should have to state there real name and anyone that doesnt there comment will be deleted, i can look at my self in the mirror and say i am ok with what i said but i think for most they would have a hard time even getting to that mirror, one more thing GO PIRATES!!!!!!!

Anonymous

Are economy stinks because we have a president that wants to fight wars that are not even are problem, spending billions of dollars on it to support a war that is very uneeded which i might also mention is only increasing are national debt, we could be spending a fraction of those war costs and be putting it into healthcare, schools and anything that ARE country needs not some other country, i am all for helping out third world nations but we have homeless on are own soil, we have kids who cant go to doctors and cant get a good meal. This country is going to go down the crap whole and ill sit back and watch it, i work at UPS and right now i would say the average columbusian has a high school education level of 10th grade, its horrible the things i see on a day by day account. They say vote, why voting only gives men and women who already have an agenda on what they need to do, not what we need to do, i always joke around and say there will be another american revolution and well that seems to becoming more and more true as the years go by. I dont trust any one that says one thing and does another as of right now that is about 90% of are elected offiers in congress and throughtout the usa. They say this is the land of oppurtunity, my butt if you dont know someone or have some money you are goin to being lower middle class, unless you are that small 3% that we make movies about, how you came from the slums and made something out of your self, i got news for people this is the real world not a disney movie. Things need to change before this country changes for the worst. CEO's, VP's i would like to say if you ever take the time to read alittle town blogs, thanks for making it impossible for americans to get a peice of what was promoted since the early 1800's/

Anonymous

I would vote for you in a heart beat!

When I see the US Government buy Japanese outboards for their boats, my tax dollars, I know who won the war, and who is winning the peace..........

Anonymous

People seem to blame many things on President Bush and Obama tells us we should vote for change.

In the year 2006 President Bush was in office for 6 years and consumer confidence was very high, gasoline was selling for $2.19 per gallon, unemployment was under 5%, interest rates were O.K. and inflation was very low. The major news media was telling people that things were bad so the people did vote for change at that time and elected a congress controlled by the democrats and I am wondering if the people were satisfied with the change that they still want more.

Mr. Obama advised he will tax the windfall profits of the oil companies and his people feel it is a good idea and I am wondering if they will still feel it is a good idea when they wake up to find out that we will be paying the increased taxes at the pump.

Also people do some investigating and figure out more about the "windfall profits" of the oil companies and check the percent of profit compared to the gross sales and also the percent of profit compared to the money the oil companies have invested and then do the same with other large companies and you will see that their profits and not as great as you are lead to believe.

Mr. Obama also advises he will take tax breaks away from companies that have a portion of their operations off shore and although it does sound good prior to thinking about it I do wonder if it would give the companies more of an incentive to bring more jobs back to this country or to send more jobs off shore.

Many people feel that the large corporations should be taxed more so that the government can offer more programs to the lower income persons. If you stop to think about it the large corporations do not really pay the taxes as the tax money is considered an expense to them and is just added into the cost of their service or product thus what they are doing is just collecting the tax monies from the consumer and transferring it to the government. The government will then send a percentage of the money back to the people so what we are receiving from the government is our own money that was collected in the form of taxes minus the administrative expenses of the government.

Anonymous

RE: John Mavros wrote on Aug 9, 2008 10:54 PM:

FYI:
The US is broke.
We are borrowing money from China and Japan to send out a stimulus check.
We are spending ten billion a month of borrowed money in Iraq.
Who is going to pay this debt?

A McCain commercial won't pay the money we owe..........

Anonymous

This blog is horrible. I can't believe I am commenting giving Sue another comment to possibly make this blog go higher on the most commented list.

Anonymous

Many know how to obtain IP#'s. It isn't that difficult. Why all the clamor about real names - unhh.

Anonymous

Jim Toth Marblehead OH :

If you believe what you wrote in your 11:22 PM post then you KNOW the answer -

Higher taxes for everyone and anyone that can pay, and a lower standard of living for all Americans because as a nation and a people, we have been and are currently living beyond our means.

Heck, if sixty-six percent of the American adult population being overweight and half of them being obese ain't a sign of excess (and prosperity) what is?

Anonymous

First, I agree completely with my brother Karl's post.

Probably the first part to any solution is to CUT GOVERNEMENT WASTE! Go to www.cagw.org to enlighten and enrage yourself.

Anonymous

I do agree that the trade in balance is not good for this country.

The value of the dollar at this time though is a positive thing for foreign trade as it does actually make us more competitive and we are able to sell our goods to foreign countries. At this time we are exporting more goods.

We have been hearing lately that this country has more oil than originally thought and by drilling for more oil in this country it would create more jobs, generate more tax income and reduce the amount of money leaving this country. It would also benefit our national security.

Many politicians feel we should ask the middle east to increase their out put so as to lower the price per barrel however they do not wish to drill here. So we send much of our oil money abroad giving them the income and creating more jobs for them.

The alternative sources are something we should be working on however if we do wait for them our auto industry may be gone .

I have not seen or heard of an actual fact that man is causing global warming although I have heard of some scientist that have first proclaimed it was true are now having second thoughts. Many of the scientist that still proclaim man made global warming are paid via grants and other monies from the government and if they did not have global warming to hang their hat on it might be necessary for them to find employment elsewhere.

So I do say that at least for the short term lets drill here and keep our money here while creating new jobs.

Anonymous

You say the government does not create jobs. Well, that may be true, but they can create an economical climate that would draw industry to produce from their own homeland. Clinton might have signed NAFTA, but Bush could have reversed it and never considered doing it. Why would he? He and his buds have made a killing in this country since they gave him the power. Say it any way you want to, but the government IS involved with citizens having dependable jobs and I doubt anyone will change that now. Big business runs this country, not Dems or Republicans. And big business will get bigger and bigger so we're out of luck. Thank you politians for all of your help. They (big business) couldn't have done it without you.

Anonymous

I just ran across this.
China has the money, they get the oil.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nati...

Anonymous

Just what have the oil companies invested in? It sure isn't new refineries. They haven't made any moves at all that would benefit anyone but themselves. When US Oil is priced the same as Eastern Oil to the Americans, pardon me for taking offense. They are making billions quarterly, are taking food off of American's tables by allowing this ridiculous amount per gallon prevail and aren't doing a thing to change it. When you have that much money, and hurt millions of people so you can be richer, I think
it's a sin against fellow human beings.

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