Letters to the Editor
SO LONG, SEARS
So long, Sears. What? Too soon? Actually it’s Kmart that’s filing bankruptcy. Kmart bought Sears and changed the name to improve their image. Sort of like Southwestern Bell with the worst reputation in telephones buying AT&T with the best name and changing its name to ... you guessed it, AT&T. But my point about Sears is they actually went out of business years ago. So did Montgomery Ward.
Sears and Montgomery Ward pioneered long-distance retail via catalog and shipping over 100 years ago. Today they are relegated to nostalgia in no small part by Amazon, which is essentially a catalog business, albeit by internet. Target and Walmart adapted. So far they are still strong players in the hunt for your business, but not necessarily from their parking lots.
JCPenney has tried numerous adaptations like groceries, pricing, upscale, value scale and seems to be hanging on, but no one is sure how or why. Their youngster upstart nemesis Kohl’s seems to have mimicked JCPenney well enough to win the match between them. But how can either continue much longer without becoming the carnage of collateral damage in rapid two-day shipping or pick-it-up-yourself retail?
Nobody shops at stores like they used to and all the buy-local begging doesn’t seem to be having any effect.
Raising sales tax to offset the loss of sales tax is an incentive to drive away even more store shoppers.
People will buy something unique locally, but more and more casual and replacement spending is conducted from a home computer or a smartphone.
Indeed, the catalog business Sears and Montgomery Ward pioneered is alive and booming. What a shame they aren’t around to enjoy it.
GRADUATED INCOME TAX
The issue of implementing a graduated income tax, otherwise called a progressive income tax, is being debated in the current election cycle. The graduated income tax is really a simple concept: the more you make, the more you pay in taxes.
This is how our federal income taxes are calculated so it is not a new or far-out idea. It seems the opponents of the idea are leading people to believe a graduated income tax is an unfair idea when, in reality, it is the fairest way to tax people.
WATER SAFETY RULES
In Illinois, state water safety rules have not been updated since the 1980s and are spread out in five different areas of rules overseen by the Illinois Pollution Control Board. For the past six years – long before the outbreak in Quincy that has dominated headlines in recent months – the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has been working with the PCB to modernize, strengthen and streamline water safety regulations.
The Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease strongly endorses these new rules from IEPA and hopes the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules will approve them for implementation in 2019.
The rules will provide new direction for operating and maintaining community water supplies; to cut costs and decrease uncertainties; new guidance for treating water, applying chemicals and operating water infrastructure; and increased chlorine treatment and more timely testing to ensure bacteria sources are being identified and eliminated as quickly as possible.
Alliance to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease