Does it feel like 5% to you?

By Thornton Crowe
(first published on Salisbury News)

As the media trumps the three-month 5% unemployment numbers like it was a great accolade on behalf of the Obama camp, one finds that most people are not buying it.

manufacturing_plant.top_Salisbury has sustained several closings and layoffs over the last year, leaving us with a rising unemployment – now up to 7% in Wicomico County. Mind you, this figure does not include the following: under-employed – part-time workers who want full-time work, benefits expired/exhausted, unqualified for unemployment insurance and jobseekers that have simply given up. One quick look on – which tells you how many have applied for any given position – you’ll find some jobs have 300+ applicants. Yet, Day’s first bold statement is to hire a Marketing Firm for downtown rejuvenation? (Sounds a bit like looking to keep people safe from guns rather than creatively solving a bad economy.) You can’t encourage business openings when people are flat out of cash, so the question is why?

Surely, many Salisbury residents would love nothing more than to open their own businesses and be their ‘own boss’ yet, governmental red tape – local, state and federal – coupled with lack of funds and credit – it seems to be a chicken and egg syndrome in every way possible. More businesses do mean more jobs but where does one go to start a new business in a town that seems hell bent on ‘good ole boy politics’ and a government more interested in placing Band-Aids rather than real economic growth solutions?

Instead of a Marketing Firm, perhaps a more advantageous attack on Salisbury’s downtown situation is to figure out how to get businesses to open there. Meaning, how do you put money in the right hands to get a business launched and offer incentives for downtown real estate. Third Fridays – while a grand time – does not generate a month’s worth of healthy revenue stream for any business located on the plaza.

Revenue streams come from a populous that has MONEY$$$$ to spend beyond their basic living expenses. With a whopping 7% unemployment rate (and that’s the November 2015 stat, showing a steady increase in the prior months) and the job options shrinking with every breath, where does Day and his cronies think the citizens are going to get money to spend? This is most definitely an Economics 101 concept completely lost on most Democrats in our local government; proving once again, a clear disconnects between idealism and reality.

So, do you feel that your world in the Bury is better now than it was eight years ago? Do you feel richer? Poorer? Stat? Weigh in…

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