Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Is the sky really falling?


It has been awhile, 79 years to be exact, since I've seen anything like it. I'm referring to the past couple of weeks when the wheeler-dealers on Wall Street and in Congress have been running here and there in a panic. It peaked yesterday when they began crying, "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
That earlier event in October 1929 came a few months after the photo at left was taken a couple of weeks before an auto accident put that 4-year-old kid in the hospital for 30 days. So when everyone was talking about the Wall Street Crash I thought they meant one on the highway. Was poor Wall Street going to have to spend a month in bed?
My dad, the eternal optimist, kept saying, "It won't affect us." Eight months or so later he was out of a job. Three months after that my mother was out of a job. Another few months and we were living in a Model-T Ford with a canvas top and no side curtains. And it was winter in the Midwest.
Yes, the Great Depression was rough, yet all but the weakest survived. People came out of it stronger and with a better sense of values. When it began, however, those same people were much like those you'll find today. Not quite as self-indulgent because there were no credit cards, no ATM machines, but a plethora of stores with "easy credit" signs in the window. A few years later the signs were still there but credit had become a dirty word.
I'm no economist but as I understand it we won't merely be bailing out Wall Street, that place where people make money without actually working for it, but also the institutions that give credit. Today's economy is based on people borrowing money so they can buy stuff from merchants who borrowed money to buy stock. We borrow huge sums to buy houses while full aware we can't afford the payments, the taxes or the upkeep. We are paid by employers who borrow money to meet a payroll.
So we're living in a house of cards. Sooner or later houses like that come tumbling down. One economist says it will be 2015 before things return to normal. By then people may have wised up the way they did in the 1930s when you bought something only when you had money in your pocket to pay for it.
If the sky really does fall, the country and the world may be better off for it. If it doesn't fall it will merely postpone the day when that house of cards collapses.


http://www.dickstodghill.com/

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