What is happening with our economic environment?
by btchakir, Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 06:47:41 AM EST
I live currently in an area of the country (WV/MD/PA/VA intersection) which is remarkably lower-blue-class, but it was not always a poverty zone. Up until a decade or so ago it was a manufacturing area with a farming framework.
In the last couple of months,many of the remaining manufacturing jobs have disappeared because of the economy. Statton Furniture, for example, in Hagerstown was a world-famous fine furniture manufacturer which just closed its doors after four generations of family ownership. The truck=parts section of Mack, now owned by Volvo, has been shrinking rapidly. Empty small factories now populate the available real-estate lists, and they are not selling.
The retail sales businesses that supported much of the manufacturing businesses are shrinking or totally disappearing. Furniture stores, auto dealers, gift shops... these are only a few.
With all of this shrinkage, unemployment is going up and new jobs are not appearing. And Wal-Mart only draws so many store greeters. People who used to be lower-level white collar workers now seek blue-collar jobs and are not getting them.
And we hear about "tax deductions". Tax deductions got us into much of this, especially at the higher income levels. So government now borrows much, much more just to function. And those who are protesting borrowing and spending much much more to get the country and the economy rolling again are calling for tax deductions instead. Using the problem that got us into the mess as a cure for the mess is an outrageous idea.