I read The Review, the Journal and the Youngstown Vindicator every day, and don't think myself eligible for Mensa membership. I think I have a pretty good grip on my world.
I've seen the Nutting Family, owners of two of my daily reads, are putting more money into the Pirates, hopefully meaning a winning season in the future.
I've been blessed to live in a town with some great living legends like Frank Dawson and Lou Holtz, and many more, but everybody is aware of their contributions.
I'm old enough to remember the mills and potteries that didn't give a second thought to letting youth leagues use their land, and many times buy equipment and uniforms to help them succeed.
Our social organizations, the Legion, VFW, Elks and the list goes on, are slowly dying for lack of support. They gave us scholarships, baseball leagues and countless charitable benefits to our community.
I'm not old enough to remember the cost-plus pricing that corporations used during WWII to defeat Germany and Japan. It gave us mills with 5,500 employees, when 2,000 could do the jobs, but that government money, who some would call wasteful, saved our way of life. Other government programs with all those letters in their names got us through the Great Depression and were probably fiscally deficient, but the benefits were unquestionably sound. President Roosevelt didn't have 100 percent support, but people did put their shoulders to it and made it work, and the country prevailed.
This brings me to reason for this letter. None of the previously-mentioned entities looked at the balance sheets before acting. I have not and probably will not read the "Obamacare" Act, but the city fathers did, and if I read it right, they intend to make everybody part timers to circumvent the health law. How much economic growth can you generate with 30 hour jobs with no insurance or pension? Our needy are costing us fortunes going to ERs for scraped knees and colds. In defense, our hospitals are cheating just to stay alive, by performing hysterectomies on 97-year-old women, if they have the funds or private insurance to cover it. The professionals and insurance executives say that even a few hundred dollars from the poor will fix the system, and if you have the means to carry a policy, do so.
What Lisbon is contemplating is by no means putting your shoulder to the problem, in any way shape or form, but they're not the only culprits here. The government workers who retire on Friday and return on Monday with a job and a pension, are shining examples aren't they. Our union representatives, who saw no concession too steep or pay cut too deep, just so they could keep their cushy positions at the hall, don't shine very bright. Our political parties, who try everyday to spend all their time making the other party look bad, and solve none of our problems, are another shining example. Our bankers, an abhorrent breed, get federal money for nothing, and use it on Wall Street or gobble up other banks, and refuse to invest in local development, they never did shine. They will send you applications for 25 percent credit cards though. Pulling together is not sending your jobs off shore, even if it costs you more, or the wealthy refusing to pay taxes by using Swiss bank accounts or addresses in the Cayman Islands. How about the Kentucky Bourbon maker who wants to water down his product, and no doubt want a huge bonus, not for a better product, but for cheating his customers. The ice cream makers got together last year and cut half gallons down to 1.5 quarts, and a pat on the back to these great Americans.
Five pound coffee cans are down to three, potato chips just settle to the bottom, but look at the ounces. If I worked for any of these companies and said I was going home after 7 hours, but wanted paid for 8 hours, I would be immediately fired and probably prosecuted for it, stealing time from the company.
You're not alone Lisbon as you can see, you weren't the first to cheat. I think it's already too late to change anything, all the wonderful steel mills are in the hands of liquidators, and parking lots are our economic future, all we have to do is find a market for them. Tough sell. No employees. No wages. No tax base. But if we keep pulling in different directions, we will surely pull it apart.
Donald J. Chambers