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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Friday, November 14, 2008

The evidence is there to see

There is a road a short distance from town that I remembered as a narrow, hilly two-laner with nothing much on either side. So why, I wondered, was it showing up in the news so often? We drove down it a couple of days ago and it was a shocking experience.
On both sides were allotments of expensive houses on small plots of ground. Fancy houses, the kind we used to think were occupied by rich people. But there aren't that many rich folks around so the occupants were everyday people living beyond their means. Despite the fancy name for each allotment, this was foreclosure country.
I feel no sympathy for those who suddenly wake up to reality. They knew these places were too much house, three-thousand or so square feet while they had a one-thousand foot income. They were over their heads the day they moved in and they knew it. Then they maxed-out credits cards to have a big-screen TV and all the latest electronic gadgets. And didn't they "deserve" a gas-guzzling SUV or van?
It is obvious that most are living from paycheck to paycheck. For some, even that won't do it so they have to visit payday lenders charging exorbitant interest rates. Not too long ago there was no such thing as a payday lender.
Most of us my age learned better during the Great Depression. The lessons were good ones: Don't buy something until you have money to pay for it. The roof over your head doesn't have to cover several thousand square feet. The vehicle you drive doesn't have to be a top-of-the-line model equipped with every luxury imaginable. We worked hard for little money, but what we possessed was really ours and stress wasn't included in the price tag.
So that ugly phrase "the American Dream" has turned into a nightmare for millions. Should the rest of us bail them out? Or bail out automakers or banks or any other business? Not on your life. That's just postponing the inevitable. Once again Americans need to learn a hard lesson. When they have, you won't find a payday lender on every corner.


Blogger STAG said...

I wonder if it would even be allowed to build a 600 foot house on foreclosure row.

12:43 PM  

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