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Athens Messenger Newspaper Archives Aug 14 2015, Page 4

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Athens Messenger (Newspaper) - August 14, 2015, Athens, Ohio Page \4 Friday August 14, 2015 the Athens messenger Don blur what s shaking a ii sucking a a to attention a fro Clinton s College plan. Paying it Forward established 1825 tile athensltlc0$engerroute 33 North and Johnson Road Athens Ohio 45701 740 592-6612 email letters to the editor to Monica nieporte president Joe Higgins editor Wendy Van sickle design editor Pete Dennis advertising director Ike Weiss production manager editorial of it makes sense for the government to help Young people pay for Colleg and it does then it also makes sense for the government to help them pay it Back. On monday Hillary Clinton endorsed an idea that would improve both sides of this bargain. It s called income based loan repayment which sets monthly payments As a percentage of earnings. To be fair it is not a new idea president Barack Obama a administration has proposed expanding the existing program and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has introduced a Bill in the Senate that would automatically enrol those with Federal student Loans into such a plan. Clinton s approach includes replacing the four existing income based plans with a single program doing a better Job telling students about income based repayment More than 25 percent use such a plan now and making it easier to enrol. Payments would be capped at to percent of discretionary income and any remaining Loans would be forgiven after 20 years 25 for Grad school Loans. There Are still Points to work out. The Best Way to reach everyone who can Benefit from income based repayments is to make them the default option which Rubio explicitly supports but Clinton does t. Another question is whether repayments should be automatically deducted from borrowers paychecks cutting the risk of default to near Zero but provoking concerns about government overreach. Finally erasing outstanding balances after a fixed number of years creates an incentive to earn less. The purpose of the program should be to make payments manageable not to discharge them prematurely. A better approach would be to Stop automatic loan forgiveness and instead allow borrowers in genuine hardship to request an exemption. But those questions Are secondary. A College education remains an excellent investment both individually and collectively. At the same time the amount of student debt a some a .3 trillion with i in 6 borrowers delinquent or in defaults worrisome. Income based repayment plans allow students to better take advantage of Opportunity and the government to better manage risk. Its an idea that deserves the support of whoever is elected president next year. Bloomberg View mall k our army is breaking Gen. Robert Scales ret last month Gen. Raymond Odi Emo outgoing army chief of staff and Gen. Mark Milley his successor testified to the difficulties faced by the army. Id like to make the same Points by telling a Story. When i was a boy tonsillitis was a dangerous illness. In 1952, it kept me in Tokyo general Hospital for weeks. I shared a cramped Ward with dozens of soldiers horribly maimed in Korea. The Hospital had Only one movie theater. I remember watching a Western sandwiched Between Bandage and plaster wrapped bodies. I remember the Antiseptic smells the Cloud of cigarette smoke and the whispers of Young men still traumatized by the horrors of the War they had just left. My dad came from Korea to visit me and i recall our conversations vividly. At the time he was operations officer for the 2nd Engineer battalion. He told me How poorly his men were prepared for War. Many had been killed or captured by the North koreans. During the Retreat from the Yalu River some of his soldiers were in such bad physical shape that they dropped exhausted along the Road to wait to be taken captive. A we have no sergeants son a he told me shaking his head a and without them we Are no longer an in the Early 70s, i was the same age As my korean Era dad. I had just left Vietnam Only to face another broken army. My Barracks were at War. I carried a pistol to protect myself from my own soldiers. Many of the soldiers were on hard drugs. The Barracks were racial battlegrounds pitting Black against White. Again the army had broken because the sergeants were gone. By 1971, most were either dead wounded or had when tile sergeants leave the army s in trouble. Voted with their feet to get away from such a devastated institution. I visited Baghdad in 2007 As a guest of Gen. David Petraeus. Before the trip i had written a column forecasting another broken army but it was Clear from what Gen. Petraeus showed me that the army was holding on and fighting Well in the dangerous streets of Baghdad. Such a Small and Over committed Force should have broken after so Many serial deployments to that hateful place. But Gen. Petraeus said that his army was different. It held together because Junior leaders were still dedicated to the fight. To this Day i done to know How they did it. Sadly the army that stayed cohesive in Iraq and Afghanistan even after losing 5, xxx dead is now being broken again by an ungrateful historical and strategically tone deaf leadership in Washington. The Obama administration just announced a 40, xxx reduction in the army a ranks. But the numbers done to begin to Tell the talc. Soldiers stay in the army because they love to go into the Field and train defense Secretary Ashton Carter recently said that the army will not have enough Money for most soldiers to train above the squad level this year. Soldiers need to fight with new weapons in the past four years the army has cancelled 20 major programs postponed 125 and restructured 124. The army will not replace its Reagan Era tanks infantry carriers artillery and aircraft for at least a generation. Soldiers stay in the ranks because they serve in a unit ready for combat fewer than a third of the army a combat brigades Are combat ready and this initial 40, xxx Soldier reduction is just a Start. Most estimates from Congress anticipate that without lifting the budget sequestration that is driving this across the Board decline another 40, xxx troops will be gone in about two years. But its soldiers who Tell the Story. After 13 years of War Young leaders Are voting with their feet again. As sergeants and Young officers depart the institution is breaking for a third time in my lifetime. The personal tragedies that attended the collapse of a soldiers spirit in past wars Are with us again. Suicide family abuse alcohol and drug abuse Are becoming increasingly More common. The nation always reduces its military As wars wind Down. Other services suffer reductions and shortages. But Only the army Breaks. Someone please Tell those of us who served Why the service that does virtually All the dying and killing in War is the one least rewarded. My grandson is a great kid. He a about the same age i was when i was recovering at Tokyo general. Both of his parents served As army officers so its no wonder that in school he draws pictures of tanks and planes while his second Grade classmates draw pictures of Flowers and animals. The other Day he Drew a tank just for me and labelled it proudly a Abrams Lank a Well sadly if he follows in our footsteps one Day he May be fighting in an Abrams tank. His tank will be 60 years old by then. At the moment id rather he go to Law school. Robert ii. Scales a retired army major general is a former commandant of the Lus. Army War College. He wrote this for the Washington Post. Robots won t Rule the checkout Lane by Virginia Postrel Bloomberg View to see Why robots Arentt going to wipe out everyone a Job anytime soon look no further than the annoyed and bewildered customers confronting store self checkout units squawking Quot unexpected item in bagging area and Quot help is on the self service checkout scanners Are now Standard at most . Supermarket and mass merchandise chains. That might seem great for customers in a hurry. After All in a june poll half of . Adults picked slow checkout speeds and Long lines As the most frustrating thing about shopping in Brick and mortar stores. Americans hate to wait to buy stuff and expanding self scanners seems like an obvious Way to Speed up Cash Register lines. But three quarters of respondents also said they sometimes avoid self service most often because of technical problems. Those Over 65 were More Likely to say they simply prefer Cashiers nobody wants to listen to an endless Loop of electronic reprimands while watching other shoppers move smoothly through the human staffed queue. Even people who be mastered the machines often find themselves waiting behind customers who Arentt so adept. A it the self checkout is empty i always head for it Quot says one Friend. Quot but for some reason whenever i get behind someone it seems to take forever much longer than waiting behind someone at the Cash Register. I done to know if they Are refinancing their mortgage or buying groceries so i just get in line at the Cash self service is a Handy option but few shoppers want to rely on it. And most people who use self scanners limit them to Small orders. That in part reflects the tiny space most stores allocate to their self service bagging areas. But it also suggests two other costs that illuminate consumer thinking about the transaction. Engaging with a cashier exacts a predictable fixed Cost in time for everyone in bother for the less social among us that seems More justified when spread Over Many items. Meanwhile each additional article increases the Odds of a self scanning mishap. New self checkout installations seem to have peaked in the . A everyone who was going to do it has More or less done it and now they re either filling in the stores that did no to get it the first Lime around or they re on a replacement Cycle Quot says Paula Rosenblum managing partner of Rush a consulting firm specializing in retail technology. Adoptions hit a High in 2013, when the Roll out of new Nur corp. Self checkout systems at Wal Mart stores brought . Shipments to 16, xxx units ast year new shipments dropped to 8,600, according to the 2015 global Epos and self checkout study by Abr a London based research and consulting firm. Worldwide about 2io, xxx self checkout systems Are in place a number that Abr projects will jump to 335, xxx by 2020, spurred mostly by growth in Europe and Asia. To justify upgrades self scanner companies Are working to address shoppers technical gripes. Market Leader nor which accounted for 64 percent of new shipments in 20i4, has shrunk its machines to double the space in the bagging area. It has also shortened the tedious process of paging through screens to find produce codes a deterrent to Many grocery shoppers. New nor software first shows customers the to Selling fruits and vegetables in the store that Day or if they be swiped a frequent shopper card their own most common purchases. And scanning a bottle of wine no longer brings the process to an abrupt halt while you wait for a clerk half your age to Check your Drivers License. The system simply alerts an employee As scanning continues. Quot a lot of times they can look Over and see that you re obviously old enough and not have to come Over to Check your id a said Dusty Lutz general manager of Ncry a retail self service solution in an interview. Eventually such innovations will smooth the technical glitches that now make self checkout irritating. Arms weren to always so problem free either but by the time supermarkets and drugstores Roll out the glitch free self scanners cutting human staff to a Bare minimum May seem like retail suicide. Why after All should you schlep to the store when you can Point and Click at Home today the answer is to get your cough Medicine or dinner ingredients faster. But with Amazon aiming for a Zero delivery time Quot that advantage May soon disappear. The Only reason to go shopping will then be for the social and aesthetic experience. Stores will have to treat employees As Long term assets who create specific value for customers rather than expenses to handle routine transactions. Technology will serve As a complement to rather than a substitute for staff. Already a sri a annual Survey finds that the most successful retailers Are investing More in hiring and training. But said Rosenblum a a they re still struggling with a Century old business Model that assumes a Low paid transient workforce of interchangeable clerks. Basic tools such As wifi that employees can use to answer questions Are still scarce. The Job displacing robots wont be at the supermarket checkout but hidden in Amazon warehouses. Even Graceful technology however can to satisfy every consumer desire. Some researchers speculate that loneliness rather than Technophobia May be one reason that older customers prefer Cashiers to self checkout. A since i try to always get the same clerk its like seeing a Friend a says one extroverted pal who works from Home. Quot a Friend who knows the codes for fruit and Genius by George Weckman some people Are born with a heaping Silver spoon of musical Talent in their Mouths. Mozart is the most famous example. In Britain these Days a youngster Benjamin Grosvenor is being lionized As just such a wizard at the piano. These geniuses Are flabby roasting with their technique but also winsome with their musicality. A similarly gifted artist is scheduled to perform in Athens on sunday sept. 20. Ken Cowan a Brilliant organist will play a recital at Christ lutheran Church on Mill Street at 4 . I guarantee that he will amaze and Delight All who attend. I heard him first almost 20 years ago in Philadelphia when he was a student at the Curtis Institute. One knew within minutes of his performance that he was in Complete control of the instrument and the music. He has had an Active career teaching first in new Jersey and now at Rice University in Texas and appearing Al almost every Organ convention. He has played with the Philadelphia orchestra and in like distinguished company. He is coming to Athens As i celebrate my 60th year As a Church musician. A better gift to me and our City cannot be imagined. You Are very Welcome to join us for this event. # George week mail is a retired professor and director of music at Christ lutheran Church

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