Daddy Warbucks

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What are U gonna do with “stimulus bucks?”

Daddy W. wanted to know so he hit the bricks – the streets – the shaded trails all around Fayetteville to ask those unsuspecting pedestrians this simple question: “What are you going to do with the $300 stimulus check from the government?” The answers in this very unscientific poll were not surprising. Most have, in fact, already spent the money – before it ever arrives in the mailboxes this summer.

This trend, especially among young people, is telling Daddy W. that the younger set really does have a confidence in the U.S. government that the older and wiser more adult folks simply don’t have.

Joe: 21, a UA student: “I’ve already spent mine. Got me a new Ipod.”

Carol: 22, UA part-time student: “I’ve gone out and put $300 on my credit card for a purchase so when the check comes in, I’ll pay it on the card. I guess.”

Ed, 40, UA employee: “I am gonna wait and see when and IF it really comes in.” Ed could not stress the IF any more if he tried.

Gerald, 65, recent retiree: “I am going to put mine in the bank. I wish they government would just cut taxes and not send us back a tip.”

There you have it. Most will spend, or have already spent the stimuli. Some will save. Some just hope it really happens. But what will Wal-Mart and other major retailers do? Just watch.

Wal-Mart, given its history for not wanting to cash government checks without a fee, will probably waive the check-cashing fee. And why wouldn’t Wal-Mart make a push for cashing these stimuli checks for free? Folks with cash are just gonna spend it where they are, don’t you think? “Spend more. Live better.” Isn’t that the Wal-Mart mantra? Well no. But Always, or oops, almost that is.
Happy check-cashing folks. Come June or July that is.

BIG QUESTION
Just what would be the ratio of the total square footage of all the Wal-Marts in the world to say to Manhattan? Answer is at the end of these ramblings.

STICKY FINGERS
An embarrassment was made public last week. Some $24,000 in auction items were “stolen” from a benefit gala for the Ozark Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation at the
Fayetteville Town Center. A valuable necklace and an expensive watch were among the pilfered items. Stay tuned.

LOWER PRICES
Starbucks, that can and will charge you an arm and a leg for its concoctions, is going cheap. What? Yes, Starbucks is rolling out a
$2.50 cup of Joe, a “fresh-pressed” drink as a new and cheaper offering. Starbucks is also looking at a $1 refill policy. Now that’s something that Daddy W. says will work.

MILKING INCENTIVES
Arkansas’ diminishing dairy producers are talking about copying some tax incentives found in Louisiana and South Carolina as a way to save local dairy farms. Each of those states now offers a $5,000 tax credit for each 500,000 pounds of milk produced on the family farms. The cost to Arkansas: about $3 million a year. Daddy W. says we should be pulling for the local dairy farmers.

PETTY CASH
It’s never easy to write about family news, but when Tyson Board Chairman John Tyson’s home was robbed during a Yule teenage party, well, it gets written up. Apparently some young adults who were crashing the party took between $140,000 and $190,000 in cash from the Johnson home. The culprits are now being sought. Tyson apparently didn’t know that a party was being given at his home while he was away.

BRAZILIAN DRUMSTICKS
Tyson Foods has announced it will buy a privately held Brazilian poultry firm, Pena Branca. So the inroads into South America’s poultry market is on. Watch for the firm to buy into some of the region’s red meat sources soon.

SEATS ARE IN

Daddy W. and others who are watching the NWA Naturals baseball park are excited to see that the chair-back seats are going in at the Arvest Ballpark. The crack of the bats is less than 60 days away.

CLOSING
The ever-popular La Masion des Tarts in Fayetteville has closed, and closed quickly. It shutdown last week. Chef and owner Vince Pinalto isn’t talking, but he will bounce back. Rumors is that he and some local investors didn’t work out. This is bad news for the weekend and early morning crowd.

MORE MESSAGES

Riders of Curry’s Taxi and Dynasty Cab Co., both owned by the same corporation, are still getting expensive and unwanted text messages (which costs the phone owner each time they are sent) for commercial advertisements not related to cab rides. Over the Valentine’s Day holiday at least two or three text messages for services were sent to some area cell phones. Former cab users have asked the company to stop, but the company seems not to care. So be careful out there when calling a cab. They’ve got your number.

REDO
Tony C. has put on a fresh coat of paint and renamed the Catroppa Espresso Bar on Garland Avenue turning it into a breakfast spot. The once florist shop (next door to Lucky Luke’s BBQ) is now said to be serving up breakfast. Good luck.

BIG ANSWER
How about a 9 to 7 ratio. So Wal-Mart’s square footage is larger than the entire Island of Manhattan. Wow.

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