The Week of October 30th, 2011

October 31, 1907

This week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat featured an article under the headline “The Credit System.” The item began, “(s)uch agencies as Bradstreet’s and Dunn’s (sic) are indispensable to the economic world.” The two firms mentioned, then competitors, merged in 1933, and the firm is now known as Dun and Bradstreet, a Fortune 500 company and a leading collector and provider of information relating to credit decisions. “All businessmen where large transactions are involved need to have commercial ratings in order that business may be done on sale lines and with promptness,” continues the 1907 feature. “In large towns where people are not well known, one or the other, the retail merchants find it necessary for their own safety and protection, to have agencies of like nature to Bradstreet’s to ascertain and report the financial reliability of their customers.” The article continues, “(f)rom our exchanges we gather that in some towns bad debt collecting agencies have been established. Their business is to collect old accounts and if debtors fail to pay in a reasonable time, they are published much after the fashion that tax collectors advertis (sic) delinquent, with this difference, however, that the tax gatherer advertises property for sale to realize on the taxes due,” rather than, as with more legitimate firms, merely printing notice of the due amount – “for the purpose of exposing him (the debtor), it being the only penalty he (the creditor) can inflict,” with the indebted’s personal property “protected, if he has any, by the homestead law.” The article takes up the cause of “the unfortunate debtors,” alleging that “there are many good people – as honest as day light – who are poor financiers and who get behind and are forever unable to catch up.” The author of the piece says, “we would not defend a debtor who shunned the payment of a just claim, but we should be merciful toward the unfortunate who would pay but can’t.” In conclusion, the author recommended the advice of Saint Paul, “owe no man anything,” and says that “the sure plan is to stay out of debt. Live within the income, and most men can do this, if they try.”

November 2, 1939

“Wings Over Europe” was a heading to pictures on this week’s front page, with further details, “Somewhere in Europe –  Two recent photographs show German and British planes of the type headlining today’s war news. German Heinkels, on top, figured in Edinburgh raids. Below, British “Spitfires” warm up on the line.”

“Burley Ballot to be Held November 21st” reported under a dateline of “Washington, Nov. 1” that “The agriculture department has set November 21 as the date for a farmer referendum on marketing quotas for next year’s burley tobacco crop.” Following decisions being taken in the referendum to set a limited allotment, “growers selling in excess of their quotas would be subject to a penalty tax of half the market value of the excess sales.” States included in the referendum were to “include Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee.” The news item quoted “J.B. Huston, assistant agricultural adjustment administrator,” who said the move to find a consensus on limiting the amount of the crop to be grown was “advisable” because “the supply of burley tobacco on October 1 this year was the third largest in history,” and to “continue to add to this surplus would definitely mean lower prices to growers.”

Published in: on November 2, 2011 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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