What we buy makes a difference

What we buy makes a difference

Recently I went shopping for a few items that I needed. Included were bathroom towels and a snow blower. The snow blowers that I looked at were of the mid-price level, which I found are the ones below $700. Much to my surprise, or maybe I should have realized, not one of the units at my local “big box” store had engines made in America. Even though the companies that use these engines are located in this country, all those engines were made in China.

Now, it strikes me that in the quest for the “almighty dollar,” “the bottom line,” “better profit margins” or whatever else we want to call it, American corporations have now transferred all of that production out of the states and it’s never coming back. All for a couple of bucks more profit. Take a moment to think about what that means. Want to know why unemployment is at such high levels? This is just one of the reasons. And the worst part about it, there are no other choices. It becomes a “take it or leave it” situation.

The next items I looked for were cotton towels, bed sheets, etc. This was even more frustrating and made me more upset. This trip took me to the mall and big box stores. Again, all I wanted to do was buy products “Made in America.” I could not find one store that offered so much as a wash cloth made in the USA. Worst of all was the amount of products made in Pakistan, a country that protects and aids the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and his fighters. And we’re supporting them with all these products. This is crazy. But I know: we can’t let a moral decision et in the way of a good price.

When are we going to learn that the reason we have stagnant wages, unemployment, social unrest and so much class warfare is because we’re being force fed by a smiley face telling us that it’s all about the lowest price?

I just hope that each one of us will take the time to look around and talk to store managers, talk to our politicians, talk to our business owners and tell them that the bottom line is made up of more than just a low price.

Michael Lovrinoff, Canfield

Homework cuts into family time

I feel the need to vent public- ly about a subject I should have stopped venting about over 20 years ago — homework. I am a single mother of three kids. My 8 year old is sitting at the table as I write this doing homework. Monday was observance of Dr.Martin Luther King, therefore, he did not have school. Over the weekend, however, a great deal of time was set aside for, you guessed it, homework. Homework given out on Friday, to turn in the next day that school is in session. Really?

This is not my first rodeo. I have an 18-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son. I do not recall our lives and family time revolving around homework. It has become ridiculous. He gets home from school at 4 p.m. I get home from work at 5. Immediately after dinner, he begins the homework, which on average has been taking approximately two hours. The time now is 7:30 p.m. It’s shower time. Bedtime 8 p.m. Family time? To do what? Play a game? No time for that.

I have the utmost respect for the teaching profession. Personally, I couldn’t do it. My father was a teacher and raised five children. Respect is an understatement. With that said, isn’t seven hours a day enough time spent on academics? Already our children are greatly lacking in social and communication skills. Texting, instant messaging, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter ... have replaced the art of communication.

I strongly believe we need to spend the small amount of time we have with our children.

I don’t know if I’m a minority in my thinking, or part of the majority. I just know that with the amount of homework my 8-year-old third grader has, it leaves very little time for “us,” and that is a shame. I can’t imagine those with three and four children. Isn’t it time kids learn math and science in school and family values at home?

Mary Jo Boomhower, Girard