I grew up in a typical small town with two traffic lights and one main road that connected everything. Besides the local food store, every other business was a relatively small, privately owned and operated family establishment, including the community banks. The store owners serviced growing families and as the decades passed, new customers were greeted with a smile and a friendly hello. It was a win-win situation for the community. Most of the revenue was recycled right back into the community since the majority of store owners and their families lived right in town.
Fast-forward to today and the American landscape has become saturated with retail megastores. They're always building and expanding their operations, and more manufacturing jobs end up going overseas. Wal-Mart and Target put middle-class Americans out of business and they kill the concept of shared prosperity by sucking the wealth out of a neighborhood like a vacuum.
The funds committed by these companies to neighborhood revitalization is a small fraction of their profits. It's a bait-and-switch — give a little something and get back more than tenfold.
Wal-Mart is one of the largest private employers in America, employing 1.4 million associates. For the fiscal year of 2011, Wal-Mart U.S. net sales were more than $260 billion. Target operates nearly 1,750 stores in 49 states, including more than 240 Super Target stores. The company employs 350,000 associates worldwide.
Politicians have become "job whores"— they will get into bed and cut the red tape for just about any corporation that creates jobs. How many of those jobs start out paying team members a "living wage" so parents are able to provide for their families?
Wal-Mart and Target are endangering American prosperity and creating an environment in which no small business can compete in their market.
There is a hefty price Americans will pay for their addiction to one-stop megastores and future generations are going to end up paying the ultimate price.
Completely sick to hear of these pedophile priests, and creepy Jerry Sandusky should receive life behind bars. What more evidence do these jurors need to hear and read. His wife should be held as a conspirator for hearing these young men crying for help.
Can they afford them?
The latest direction of venom toward Gov.Corbett stems from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare scaling back state payments to hospitals for Medicaid births, forcing the health-care provider to "eat" the loss.
I am horrified to learn that almost half of Pennsylvania births are to Medicaid recipients. Would it be cruel and cold-hearted to question why individuals who cannot afford to have and raise families are having and raising families at the expense of their hardworking neighbors?
Are there any government officials with the courage to challenge individuals to stay in school, avoid out-of-wedlock births, seek gainful employment, and not marry and have children until one has the ability to support himself or herself and their dependents? Would any political leader ever dare say that it is unpatriotic to fall into a life of government dependency, particularly at a time that most government entities are going broke?
If we preserve or expand social spending at a time of unparalleled economic challenge, where do we get the money to fund it?
Oren M. Spiegler,
Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
The good ol' U.S.A.
Whether you want to be a professional or a tradesman providing you have the ability, you may choose any university or trade school in our country to attend. You want to work in year-round cold country, go to Alaska. Be warm all year-round, swim in the gulf, go to Florida. Ski, snowboard 365 days, go to Colorado. Live where the Indians once trailed in the Buffalo, across the Plains, Wyoming, Montana. Go where the great cattle drives once began, Texas. East Coast, where the waves crash upon the shore, New Jersey. See the endless pacific, California. The island's completely surrounded by the ocean, Hawaii. But a house, rent an apartment, you have your choice. Stay single or get married, there is no other country in the world like the one we call our beloved home, which was born 236 years ago, July 4, 1776! Aren't we all lucky to be Americans!
They've got personality
My recent observations on some people:
Mayor Nutter: It's OK if he represents the U.S. mayors and campaigns for people. He is only needed once a year to raise our taxes.
Gov. Corbett: He should be recalled because would we really have elected him if he did exactly what he promised while running for election?
Jerry Sandusky: He may give a new meaning to the term "Jerry's kids."
John Perzel: Will he be elected speaker of that big house?
Debbie Brady: She could scare off a burglar, but not Carl Greene.