Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


September 30, 2013

STUMPTALK: What if and remember when

CROSSVILLE — First, the what ifs:

What if subsidies for corn, sugar, and dairy products were eliminated? Would farmers stop planting corn and sugar? Would dairy farmers stop producing milk?

What if subsidies and tax incentives for energy producers and manufacturers were eliminated? Would oil companies stop drilling for oil? Would manufacturers stop making things?

What if the mortgage interest tax deductions were eliminated? Would contractors stop building houses? Would people stop buying houses?

What if social security had never been started? Would people have starved to death in the streets?

What if the public schools were abolished? Would people allow their children to grow up ignorant?

The answer to all the questions is no. With much more efficiency and much lower costs, free markets would provide the services now subsidized as people saved for their retirements and educated their children. Better still, money not spent on subsidies and inefficient government services would be spent creating more and better products and services, and new jobs to make, provide, and sell them. The added wealth would produce a much higher standard of living for all citizens.

As encumbered with unnecessary regulation and as loaded with rent-seekers and crony capitalists as they are, US markets still produce more wealth than just about any nation on earth. Think of what truly free markets could produce.

Now for some remember whens:

Remember when all you had to do when you went on a family trip was get into the car? (Childhood was wonderful)

Remember when clean clothes appeared magically and continually in your closets and chests of drawers?

Remember when at meal time, all you had to do was say grace and sit down and eat?

Remember when teachers and parents always told the truth?

Remember when politicians were nondescript, boring men in cheap rumpled suits, and most people ignored them?

Remember when people had only four or five choices when buying a car?

Remember when grocery stores sold white bread and wheat bread only?

Remember when almost every male served in the armed forces?

Remember when Elvis Presley was considered to have long hair? (not the Vegas Presley, of course)

Remember when people like Ed Sullivan could actually appear on TV in front of the camera?

Remember when if you mistreated someone’s sister or daughter, fathers or brothers would kick your ___?

Remember when children could watch TV?

Remember when girls who got pregnant out of wedlock disappeared to North Carolina or someplace?

Remember when the press kept JFK’s extra-maritals secret?

Remember when men wore coats and ties to church and women wore hats and gloves?

Remember when women dressed modestly?

Remember when men and women wore clothing that fit?

Remember when men avoided profane and obscene language around women?

Remember when women avoided men who used profane and obscene language?

Remember when athletes let their play speak for itself, without classless celebrations?

Remember when professional athletes had off season jobs, which they needed?

Remember when ordinary people could afford to take their families to Major League baseball games?

Remember when ordinary people could also take their families to athletic events and not worry about unruly profane and obscene drunks?

Remember when people could buy popcorn and candy at the movies without getting bank loans?

Remember when movie makers did not try to outdo each other dropping f bombs in their films?

Remember when children could jump on their bicycles, ride to the park or playground by themselves, play all day, and not be under the constant supervision of helicopter parents?

Remember when not every minute of every child’s play had to be organized?

Remember when America was a much nicer place?

• • •

Stumptalk is published weekly in the Crossville Chronicle. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. To contact Stumptalk, email coordinator Jim Sykes at

Text Only
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar