Death by Wal-Mart
I live on the Southside, and for those of you who just pass through and wonder what is going on between the Saturn dealer and the Krystal across from Savannah Mall, it's the arrival of another Wal-Mart.
So far they have destroyed a salt marsh, closed a public road to facilitate movement of their construction vehicles, and all without a single public meeting to let people know about these disruptions.
So, when Wal-Mart says jump, apparently our local politicians merely say, "How high?" Now we will have more low-paying jobs that do not pay enough for people to live, more tainted goods from China, and more local merchants run out of business.
There are many things wrong with the American economy. Wal-Mart's control of so much of the consumer economy is mafia-esque. They are the disease; what is the cure?
Cars, jobs and the American Way
I recently saw a car with a bumper sticker that read "Lost Your Job? Buy Foreign Again." I am assuming a lot here:
1. That this person does not realize that most American cars have components that were created and/or assembled in foreign lands.
2. That this person does not realize the American car companies have foreign investors and/or interests.
3. That this person does not realize the car companies have plants in other countries that manufacture and sell cars there just as "foreign" car companies do in our country.
4. Lastly I assume this person does not realize that people losing their jobs in this country as they currently are does not directly have to do with the car industry, the housing market, the banks failing, the wars we are in, or the fact that Obama is our President.
The failing of the economy, domestic and abroad is a very complicated topic, one that I would never presume to fully understand. The fact of the matter is that buying any new car is a good thing for our economy, any tax dollars at this point are a good thing.
Isolating ourselves more in this world by saying we should purchase only products made in the USA only makes the world push us away more as they have from how we entered the Iraq War. The world gets smaller every minute through advances in medicine, technology, industry, education and political systems.
We cannot afford to live in a bubble as if we are the most important nation in the world. Other countries do not approach things in this matter, while there are exceptions, the more successful ones reach out to their neighbors through economic ties and political, as well as humanitarian aid.
I love the United States of America, and am very proud to be living in this country. It just frustrates me when people try to oversimplify a problem with a bumper sticker.
Lastly, not to oversimplify something, but we are living in a country where freedoms exist. I would argue some issues of freedom of speech can infringe on others' right to not explain why a pair of testicles are hanging off of a truck's back end.
I recently noticed a truck where I go to school that has a trailer hitch in the form of metal testicles hanging. This was apparently very clever in design and execution, and I am not so sure that the form follows the function, but do we really need to see something like that when we have a van full of kids on Abercorn heading to a soccer game?
Sadly the driver probably needs to display that which he does not have, assuming the driver is a "he." I just hope the trailer hitch in question was made and assembled in the USA.
Thanks for Ferst story
A big thank you to Connect and reporter Patrick Rodgers for the Sept. 22 article on the upcoming Ferst Foundation online auction to promote childhood literacy.
The Ferst Foundation aims to instill a love of books in all Georgia preschoolers by providing registered children with a FREE, age-appropriate book mailed to their home EVERY MONTH from birth to age 5. All costs are covered by the local Community Action Team in each county.
The goal of the upcoming online "Ferst Things First auction" is raise funds to cover the costs of The Chatham County branch of the Ferst Foundation.
Anyone who wants to improve a child's ability to read can do so by bidding on some of the enticing auction items at http://ferstthingsfirst.wordpress.com between now and Oct. 14.
You can bid any time of the day on a variety of donated items including gift cards, cooking and music classes, autographed books & CDs, custom pet portraits, professional photography sessions, restaurant gift certificates, customized jewelry, artwork and weekend getaways.
A note on isms
Regarding your column "American idiots": The notion that fascism and socialism are diametric opposites is false.
Fascism, as it evolved in Italy during the early 1920's under Mussolini, involved an extremely nationalistic, almost totalitarian government( the Fascists did let the King of Italy stay on, even if it was as a figurehead) dictating to privately owned manufacturing the products and means by which they were to be produced.
Take this idea, blend it with a sense of racial superiority, become completely totalitarian, and you get Nazism. And let's not forget that "Nazi" was an abbreviation of the party's real title: National Socialist German Workers' Party.
Socialism, while not necessarily nationalistic in nature as fascism is, has the government owning and managing certain aspects of the economy. Think of Venezuela and Chavez nationalising oil production or the British National Health Service. Communism would be the government's running of all means of production.
When you look at these -isms side by side, it appears that, economically speaking, they all share the ideas of control, just to varying degrees. Therefore to say that fascism and socialism are opposites, is simply not true. Perhaps Capitalism and Communism would have been a better choice.
Editor's Note - Thanks for the insight, John. We seem to agree that both terms are not interchangeable, which was my main point.