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Our economy and attitude have changed

I’˜m not much of a global warming alarmist. You can collect and extrapolate data to prove just about anything and the global warming freaks do just that to support their views and radical opinions. Sure, I believe that the glaciers may have diminished. But, one of them reappeared outside my bedroom window and has been there for eight days at this writing. The arctic’s purported loss has been the Georgia Piedmont’s gain as we have spent much of the past week digging out from under a combination of snow, sleet and ice. The ratios of that combination varied depending upon your location but I have talked with very few people who were not sick of it after the second day or so. Most people born in the South won’t even attempt to drive once the white stuff comes. Some friends of ours – transplants from New York – were amazed to see staple products cleaned out at every grocery and mega store in the area. Trucks bringing in food did not run at all or ran on greatly reduced schedules. I was shocked to learn the same thing happened with the U.S. mail. Though the folks in our local post offices were on the job and ready to carry out their duties in true ‘˜neither rain, nor sleet nor gloom of night’ fashion, the trucks bringing the mail to them did not run for several days. Surely the riders of the old Pony Express, who carried mail from coast to coast on horseback in about 10 days, rolled over in their graves. Last Tuesday, the trucks delivering this newspaper were the only ones to arrive at many local post offices and this newspaper was the only piece of mail some people got until things thawed out. I was at several post offices myself before daylight. At each stop, they were surprised to see us. I guess some part of me clung to the thought the mail would always get through. I was wrong. I see this as a result of America’s shift from an industrial economy to a service economy. Take Barnesville, for example. For generations, the vast majority of its citizens worked steady textile jobs. Those jobs provided a steady income. Those people, in large part, cashed their paychecks in Barnesville and spent their money in Barnesville. They built modest homes, supported their local churches and businesses and saved money to send their kids to college. When the mills died those jobs were sent overseas. Many of those people went elsewhere – anywhere they could find a steady paycheck. The businesses they supported are, in large part, history. The homes they built are now rental houses occupied by people who work elsewhere. Those people would have crawled on their hands and knees to work in the snow and ice if necessary to keep food on their tables. Those in our service economy, however, are not cut from the same cloth. They are fair weather workers at best. Our society feels the health and welfare of the service provider is more important than that of the customer. Trucks could not bring in the mail or grocery staples for fear the driver of the truck may face some danger out on the ice. America’s economy and attitude have changed drastically – and not for the better!

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