Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - August 27, 2007

Loan problem requires some strong medicine

In addition to reading letters to the editor in The Herald for entertainment, Mojo also reads the comics (some might see a connection between the two sections).

Mojo came to me the other evening quite concerned. His favorite comic strip is Peanuts. His favorite character is, of course, Snoopy.

Mojo had heard bits and pieces about homes and foreclosures and he was wondering if Snoopy was going to lose his dog house.

I assured him that Snoopy was going to be OK. However, I shared with him, that was not the case for about two million human beings. Foreclosure rates are up almost 100 percent from last year. And, foreclosures are hitting the middle class as well as those on the lower end of the income scale.

In my opinion, the illusion of easy, no-pain, credit is a virus that has infected our credit system. The answer to getting rid of the virus lies with government, private profit making and private non-profit institutions, and with each of us. It is not too much different from fighting a virus that attacks the body. Answering the challenge of a physical virus takes the best efforts of governmental agencies, like the Centers for Disease Control and the Public Health Service; for-profit doctors and hospitals; non-profits that help low-income folks with health needs, and private citizens who assume responsibility for living healthy lives, which may include getting vaccinated.

To carry the analogy further, it seems to me that the medicine that will get rid of the virus of easy, no-risk credit is a heavy dose of accountability. Hedge funds need to be held accountable so that they are more transparent. Rating agencies need to be held accountable so that they are realistic as they rate investment instruments. Lenders need to be held accountable for sometimes shady practices that result in folks getting loans who have no business getting them. Consumers need to be held accountable so that we are more wise about what kind of loans we sign up for.

With apologies to Mojo, we all have a dog in this fight.

Jim Watkins and Mojo

Rock Hill

Why aren't lights properly timed?

With gas as high as it is, why can't Rock Hill get its traffic signals timed so that you don't have to stop every 100 yards when driving a major road?

Twice a day, I go from Cherry Road, down Main Street to Black Street, left on Dave Lyle out to Tech Park. Twelve traffic signals total. I get stopped every time by at least eight of the signals.

Dave Lyle originally was designed as a limited access road, but all traffic on Dave Lyle comes to a stop as soon as one lone car pulls up to a light from a side street. Now, I don't expect to make every light, every time, but that's getting stopped by the same two thirds of the lights, every day, twice a day.

The signals at Main/Constitution and Main/Black (about 50 yards apart) are the two most mis-timed lights in the city. The lights on Dave Lyle going from Black to Main to White are no better. And don't get me started on the Manchester area. It has horrendous traffic backups all of the time, even worse during the holiday season. Every year, there's an article in The Herald where the city traffic official says that we should have Manchester flowing better next year. Next year comes, and it's never any better.

Cherry Road is just as bad, if not worse, but all of the new lights in the Cherry/Celanese/I-77 on/off ramp area, according to the city, would be correctly timed and allowing traffic to flow much better in six months. Hasn't happened. All of these signals are computerized and programmable. What's so hard about it?

Mike Tucker

Rock Hill