Should the US work to stop or at least reduce urban sprawl in its major cities? Why or why not?

Cartwright- I’m not sure that is feasible. How are we going to stop urban sprawl? Tell people they can’t move to this city or that city? Tell the people in those cities that you can’t move to the suburbs? We can’t stop development and progress. That’s not productive or logical. Urban sprawl is going to happen, and there’s little we can or should do to stop it. Continue reading

Would capitalism survive if the majority of manufacturers turned away from planned obsolescence and focused on making only the highest-quality, longest-lasting products possible?

Cartwright-There was a day when manufacturers here in the United States made high quality, long lasting products, and it wasn’t that long ago. About three years ago, I renovated a property that was originally built in the early 1970s. When I acquired this property, it still had the original appliances, all of which were in working order and were of good quality. It would be unthinkable that current stoves, ovens, or refrigerators would last over forty years. You’re lucky to get a quarter of that time out of them and that’s if you give it little use. Capitalism seemed to do just fine back in the days when manufacturers made products that would last for forty years in a time when I’m not sure that manufacturers were thinking of planned obsolescence. They were more expensive products, yes, but they were built to last. Continue reading

According to experts, the US faces a massive infrastructure crisis that will require significant repairs and upgrades to our current infrastructure. How can this be achieved without crippling the economy with severe tax increases?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Remember the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis a few years back? An interstate bridge, something most of us drive over every day, simply…went away. The dead and injured were numerous, and it took months for traffic flow to be restored. Similar disasters are coming, and will become almost a commonplace occurrence if we don’t do something NOW about our crumbling infrastructure. Our rail system is a complete joke, our roads are crumbling and our water, sewer and electric systems are pitifully vulnerable to not only natural disasters but terrorist attack. Continue reading

The Republican tax bill passed and was signed into law by President Trump, which means the US debt may grow by another 1.5 trillion dollars. Can we avoid having this skyrocketing debt load cripple our economy? If so, how?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-The current Republican tax bill is the biggest batch of big-business sops, sham “benefits” for the middle class that will end up costing them and social engineering camouflaged as financial policy ever put forth. The GOP is trying to foster its spurious “business-first” agenda by giving gigantic tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy, while stripping the middle class of things like the state and local income tax deductions. Yes, there’s a short-term tax cut for the middle class, but that will expire…and the loss of the deductions won’t. Continue reading

With political parties seemingly less productive and more gridlocked, and business executives focused primarily on amassing wealth, are there any real and effective leaders anymore? If so, who?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I have all but given up on finding leaders from among the ranks of politicos in Washington or in our state houses across the country. Self-dealing, blind party loyalty and rampant self-aggrandizement rule the day, and the few moderates left find themselves buried under partisan shouting and pushed to the periphery. There are a few in the House, like a New Jersey Republican congressman voting against the tax bill because it will hurt New Jerseyans who will no longer be able to deduct their state income taxes, but he’s by far in the minority. Continue reading

Will digital currencies eventually become the reserve currencies of the world, and why?

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-When you think about all the forms currency has taken in the world since humans began to trade goods and services with each other, it is certainly a possibility that some type of digital currency may become the reserve currency of the world. After all, currencies have taken the form of gold, silver, copper, salt, shells, even cigarettes (in prison and prisoner of war camps). Why not add electrons to that list? Continue reading

Amazon.com recently acquired Whole Foods Markets. Will this purchase seriously affect other grocery stores that are currently competitors of Amazon?

From our Prescott Valley, AZ Corredspondent

Online grocery deliveries through retailers like Walmart, Costco, Target, Kroger and others will more than likely feel the crunch of Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Food Markets. Even though Amazon already offers grocery-delivery services in a number of markets, the Whole Foods acquisition will allow the online giant to further expand those services and with the actual ownership of brick and mortar Whole Foods Markets, Amazon will have access to perishable foods and other consumables for distribution within its present and expanded market areas. Continue reading

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO billionaire wants a commitment to basic universal income. Should this be a universal right?

Gastonia, NC Correspondent– The Basic Universal Income is a pipe dream much beloved by overly peppy future theorists, fuzzy headed socialists and the sort of people who think that if you put a freshly baked cookie on the table among six children, they’ll divide it up evenly out of the goodness of their hearts. Continue reading

McDonald’s is planning on rolling out automated ordering kiosks. Has the fast food giant done this in order to stifle $15 an hour fast food employment?

Prescott Valley, AZ Correspondent– Fast food chains like McDonald’s have contemplated automation for some time and are either now using or planning to use robotics or some type of automatic ordering to save time and money spent on higher wage fast food workers. As of now, McDonalds is considering the use of burger flippers, robotics and automated ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in over 2,000 of their restaurant/stores across America. Continue reading