Wednesday, January 11, 2012
In the December 28, 2011 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Miguel Bustillo and Ann Zimmerman collaborated on a front page article titled, "Holiday Sales Woes Cast Cloud Over Sears." The article discussed Sears Holdings Corp.'s decision to close as many as 120 stores and record up to $2.4 billion in quarterly charges after another lackluster holiday season.
While other challenges were mentioned, including how company chairman Edward S. Lambert has "struggled to retain qualified executives," for the average American, what the closure of select Sears and Kmart stores (see complete list as of 12/30/11 here) boils down to is more lost jobs in an already dismal economy. With the unemployment rate down slightly to 8.5% as of December, the closings are still another kick in the teeth to those looking for work.
Thankfully, Massachusetts was spared, but they've had woes of their own. In October of last year, Friendly Ice Cream Corp. shuttered 63 stores--several in Western Massachusetts. Friendly's, the largest employer in Wilbraham, MA, announced additional closures this week. One has to wonder when--or if--this trend will end anytime soon.
This is more than a political issue to be argued over. It's about more than assigning blame. Americans are struggling. Think about the good that could be done with all the money raised to finance the campaigns for those politicians running to secure their party's nomination for the 2012 presidential election. What if these organizations invested in America instead of their special interests? How much of a difference can we each make if we help a neighbor in need? How can we use our God-given talents to help each other?
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)