Voting power is more powerful than purchasing power

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

Why is it that sometimes things are revealed to us too late, making it impossible for some of us to do anything about them? That is exactly what happened when I was watching the Good Morning America Program on Channel 13 Saturday morning, when two things were revealed.

Even though one of these things is too late for me, I thought it was important to mention, because it can still help someone else.

The first news report was titled, “Child Cold Medicine Dangers.” I learned from this that many cold medications given to children under five have caused deaths and serious illnesses. I also learned that a group of leading pediatricians and the Baltimore Health commissioner are giving advice to parents not to give your child under five over-the-counter cold medications, including the ones specifically designed for children.

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A physician, Dr. Daniel Levy, from the American Academy of Pediatricians, said that pediatricians have been trying for a long time not to give medications that include antihistamines, decongestants and cough suppressants, because the testing of these drugs has not been adequate in kids. He said that chemical studies have shown they do not work, they may have side effects, and they may cover up serious symptoms of another ailment.

Levy said, at the present time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not agreeing to pediatricians’ statements, but the American Academy of Pediatricians has been advocating having stronger control of these medications for many years.

In addition, he gave advice for parents for the prevention and cure of the common cold.

For prevention, he said make sure that the child gets a flu vaccine, keep their hands clean before they eat, and after using the bathroom, and that parents should provide hand cleaner for their small children.

For a cure, he said to use a humidifier or vaporizer in the room, drink lots of fluids and use salt-water nose drops.

As for me, my son is now 35 years old, and I did use some cold medications on him before age five. I thank God that he survived all common colds without any serious symptoms of other ailments at that time. But, if these medications weren’t effective in his cure, I wasted a lot of money. This action is too late for me, but hopefully not for someone else.

The second report was called “Shop the Vote.” Saturday was the tenth day and counting until election day on Tuesday, Nov. 7. I learned that where you shop determines which political party you are financially supporting, without your even knowing it. It was reported that retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, The Gap, Home Depot, and Dominoes Pizza are corporations, and they give money to politicians and the party in power. Therefore, money is now flowing to the Republican Party. But to hedge their bet, smart corporations will also give to Democrats.

The following are the companies who generally give to the Republican Party: Dominoes Pizza, Home Depot, Target and Wal-Mart.

Those groups who give overwhelmingly to Democrats are Costco, Starbucks and The Gap. It was stated if you bought a slice of pizza or a new sweater in one of these places, you may have been making a political statement.

The commentator who reported on this news article, Jake Tapper, said that after investigating these findings, he contacted many of these mentioned retailers, and they all said that they are bi-partisan and contribute to both sides of the political spectrum.

In my opinion, the majority of shopping days is over, leading up to next week’s election, and we have no control over what political party our money goes to when we shop.

However, we can still make a political statement stronger than the one of purchasing power. That political statement is to make sure that we go out and vote on Election Day.

Wall is a former News-Herald reporter and regular contributor to this page.