Maine’s Economic Future….

Posted: 16/07/2008 in Uncategorized
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Main’s collapsing economy

A lot of analysts claim that there is nothing wrong with the economy, but the sweat rolling off their brow belies that claim. The Feds say there is no recession. Only a slowdown. Things will pick up, soon. And the everything will be all right again. Maybe. They hope. They pray. They lie.

At one time, Maine had an undeserved reputation of being a leader, but that was from the 1800’s, when people had a different outlook on life. Back in the day when hard labor was common, and opportunity ruled the marketplace. After the 19th century turned into the 20th century, industrial progress spread its wings and other countries began to grow in leaps and bounds, just as we had, mostly in Europe. And along came FDR’s follies and the great depression.

Now that the 20th century has turned into the 21st century, we are finding that history does indeed continue to repeat itself. But in different ways. Sort of. A New York Times article today relates how Ben Bernanke avoided the term recession in his biennial report to the legislature on the economic picture of the United States. Of course, he had to dance around the unprecedented increases in the energy costs we face, the failure of the subprime lending market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Macs lending woes, and runs on some of the nation’s banking institutions. Sounds like the beginnings of the great depression to me, how about you?

In a similar article from the Houston Chronicle, says that the Labor Department said wholesale inflation, driven by skyrocketing gas and food costs, rose by 9.2 percent for the 12 months ending in June. The Washington Post followed along in an article with the same take on the issue, further exploring the affect the US economy has on the rest of the world’s economies. I’m putting my money on the guess that it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. And I believe it will get a lot worse, for a longer period of time, if Obama gets elected in the Fall.

As I see it, there are two concurring problems exacerbating a Liberal driven trend to change the leadership of this country, and move in a direction that is overall detrimental to the freedom of the worlds populations. Socialism is an expensive form of government, and it tends to repress productivity and growth of an economy due to the burdensome tax programs needed to finance the Socialist governments programs of entitlement and subsidy.

One of those problems is, naturally, the skyrocketing cost of our energy needs. The blame on this rise is directed to many sources, but the bottom line is that the price of fuel is not going to return to three dollars per gallon for gas, or heating oil, nor are any other energy costs going to be reduced. And the fallout of this situation, long term, is that it will continue to cause prices in other sectors, such as manufacturing and agriculture, to increase to compensate for these higher energy costs.
And the other main problem at the moment is the banking industry. Foolishly, the government is trying to stabilize Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest, and privately owned by the way, mortgage underwriters. Bad move in my opinion. Why should the taxpayers bail out a privately held company because they were foolish enough to extend credit to people who should never have received credit in the first place? I say let ‘em fall. They earned their problems by being greedy enough to abuse the market, they should suffer the consequences.

But here in Maine, unemployment is rising, the cost of living is rising, and many paychecks are dwindling as a result, further worsening the picture. Is there a solution? Not really, but Baldacci is trying to further boost the opportunity to build upon programs that are destined to doom the state into a bankrupt status. We need to begin dismantling the states subsidized living structure and reduce taxes and regulations that are not needed to stimulate the manufacturing sector. That’s the only way we are going to be able to return to a position the state once held as being a leader.

Tourism is important, but when you rely upon this industry as a saving influence, you’re just plain stupid. Tourism is an industry that relies upon travel, and travel will begin to be seriously affected by the energy costs, possibly as early as this coming summer late vacation season. And there isn’t enough in Maine to attract tourists anyways. There’s not enough bang for the buck to really draw people here anymore.
Another thing we need to do is to develop the agricultural industry by diversifying crops and expanding production. Maine was once well known for its potato harvest, but now when you say potato, they say Idaho. What’s up with that? And let’s get rid of these bogus mega resort developments like Plum Creek wants to dump on the taxpayers and return to a vibrant forestry industry. Why don’t we get back to business, and stop pretending that we’re something we’re not?

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