Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

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 sykes113@frontiernet.net.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Time for an oil change

    The land of Iraq, earlier known as Mesopotamia, has a long history going back to Neanderthal times some 60,000 years ago. Later, around 10,000 years ago, it became the site for some of the most important developments in human history: the invention of the wheel, planting of cereal crops, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture. Today it is recognized as one of the cradles of civilization.

    July 8, 2014

  • We the People: American women, be informed and vote

    Voting for today’s Republican Party and its Tea Party members, means you are voting against more than most realize.  This is especially true for women.

    July 8, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014