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It’s all Too Damn High

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On Wednesday, the flagship Toys R Us store in Time Square closed its doors for good ending a run that began in 2001. The timing of that opening was therapeutic as it came a month after the attacks on World Trade Center towers.


I was there that day and stood on line with my wife, son and godson to see the moving dinosaur, play all the video games and especially, to ride the Ferris wheel.

Needless to say, it was one of those days that seers into your happy memories box. But now the rent is too damn high.

Apparently, the place could be yours now for only $2,500 per square foot per year for the ground floor. At 110,000 square feet you can do the math.

By the way, for those interested in a bargain, the second floor is only $350 a square foot and basement only $150.

It’s not that rent is too damn high for big specialty stores, but for young adults who overwhelmingly dream of owning a home one day, and seniors that can’t get the government to see that their grocery bills, medical bills, travel bills and other bills are racing higher and high.

It’s not only rent, but the stakes of the nation’s future are about as high as it could be as we enter a new year with a chance to pick a leader to pull us out of this malaise. I hadn’t gone back to that Toys R Us store in Time Square since that magical day, but I’m told it lost some of its luster. I guess 14 years would take the shine off most things, so I wasn’t surprised. When it comes to preeminent world powers, the luster typically fades between one to two hundred years, so it’s not surprising America has fallen into a rut.

We can choose to stay down this path, and maybe end up on the second floor or the basement of the global pecking order, or we can find the resolve to get back to our roots.


Speaking of our roots, perhaps the key is the Ferris Wheel.

Moving the Wheel

Big wheel keep on turnin'
Proud Mary keep on burnin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river

Proud Mary

Creedence Clearwater Revival
George Washington Gale Ferris Jr debuted his wheel at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, an event that some historians say sparked consumerism along with a sky’s the limit mindset, not just with the buildings, but also with our imagination and potential. What’s the next Ferris wheel? I’m not sure, but it’s not a Fit Bit or even virtual reality goggles. It’s got to be an internal spark that moves us from the inside to believe we can do remarkable things on the outside.

The on/off switch resides in the Oval office, but so do other switches for other things like this giant Welfare Utopia that’s anything but Shangri-La.

Don’t get me wrong. This is still the greatest nation in the world, and a marvel to be a part of; but we’re in decline, and the stakes are too damn high.

I’m working on a major piece for the new year that will be ready by Monday. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the year and let’s come back ready to make money, but more importantly, let’s get this big wheel moving again.

Happy New Year

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