A word or three about economy

The economy is something that both fascinates and terrifies me. I love to look at global, national and local trends and play "connect the dots" with the natural ebb and flow of money, economy and everything that goes along with it. Locally however, the economy is going sour - and fast. This is due, in part to the invasion of large corporations and large scaled businesses in our area. Over the past fifteen years we have been told that the addition of such large overpowering, overbearing companies and businesses will be good for our locals. "It will stimulate our economy!" they say. "It'll bring in new blood, new money, more opportunity!" they rally.

Fifteen years and three massive invasions later, the rally cries have turned into whimpers from the vast majority of the people who live here, and have lived here for a long long time. Whimpers I say, because it hurts. The loss of jobs, property (eminent domain anyone?), revenue, contracts for local companies, and stagnate wage base paired with the increase of the cost of living for everyone really really hurts.

Drive through my town and you'll see plenty of for sale and for rent signs - on both residential and commercial properties. Empty lots that had been stolen from locals by large corporations only to sit and become overgrown and unused. Its a bit childlike really, hoarding of the property - not to be used and developed - but just so no one else could use it, or get too close to the 'booming" business that had moved in across the street. I do use the term "booming" loosely here because there have been plenty of layoffs as of late.

You will also see loads of large corporate conglomerates and hitman style businesses such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot and the like. The crux of the situation is that these large businesses (though not Wal-Mart and Home Depot specifically) were supposed to bring in high rollin' executives, and lots of good paying jobs for us. Not only did these companies not hire our local contractors to build their Empires oops, I mean businesses, but they also outsourced the new employee base as well. Most of these people don't even live in our community. Therefore a small percentage of the new and improved revenue isn't even being put into our town and local businesses.

In fact, it is crushing us.

Please note however, that the big bad businesses aren't the only ones to blame for our little situation. Greedy landlords looking to cash in on the newfound opportunity of cash flow readily upped their rents to unprecedented and unreasonable heights. Some businesses cashed in by raising the prices of much needed products. Other locally owned businesses were forced into it by the severe customer theft due to heavy undercutting.

Our local town government is as much to blame for this as anyone. They have made it clear that the local "yokels" who have lived in, stood by, and supported this town for decades are simply not the type of folks they want here. They want the upper echelon of utmost economic elitists to reside here, in our crummy little town.

So far, this has not played out the way they planned it to.

High priced condos and McMansions sit unoccupied save for a few of the more adventurous elite who don't mind rubbing elbows with the rest of us yokels. Businesses are failing, and residents are leaving in droves for nearby towns with lower rents, lower taxes, and better properties.

We the residents however, are also to blame. Every time we purchase something at Wal-Mart instead of a local shop owner, every time we let our local governing body make bad decisions for us, every time we move, sit down or just plain don't fight, we enable our own demise.

I for one, will no longer be taking the abuse doled out.
Furthermore I refuse to be a wage slave for corporate profit any longer.

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