, Salem, MA

March 21, 2014

Letter: What can Hamilton afford?

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

An unscientific poll of my acquaintances has revealed a startling conclusion to me. The question I asked was what percentage of Hamiltonians have their financial backs to the wall?

With the large number of houses for sale and bad economic news in the country, what percent of the population is struggling? Ten percent, 30 percent, 50 percent? Essex County, according to Forbes magazine, is the seventh most overpriced area in the country to live. The daily news has 1,000 Radio Shack stores closing, 200-plus Staples stores closing, 700 laid off at Disney Land, golf courses shrinking to a quarter of their usual membership. Where I keep my boat, three-quarters of the moorings are vacant. Can I afford a boat? I am sure you can add your own statistics to the list. We all want to drive an expensive car but have a used standby in the driveway.

My conclusion from the poll is more than 50 percent of Hamiltonians are financially stressed, so it is not the time to take on expensive development or invest venture capital.

Edwin Howard