Attention shoppers…the store will be closing…
How many times have you heard this at the end of the shopping day? Many stores will be announcing they will be closing for good over the next year or so in Maine, unfortunately. At this point, the causes for the recession we are undergoing are irrelevant. The bigger question is why didn’t anybody listen to the fear-mongering analysts a few years ago? Or better still, what will be the effect, short and long term, on the future of Maine?
A news item this morning says that EMS is closing their Augusta store, leaving Maine with just one outlet in Portland. AUGUSTA EMS store closing in Jan. The article says only ten people will be out of work, which in the big picture is a minimal number, but how many people in all will be cast into the ranks of the unemployed before all is said and done here in Maine? Office Depot announced recently that they will also be shuttering all of their Maine stores as well.
Many retailers are cutting back and laying staff off or simply eliminating positions, and thereby reducing payroll. Other expenses are being cut as well. Right across the board we can see retailers cutting back and minimizing expenses so they can ride out this economic maelstrom. A lot of them probably won’t make it, no matter what and how they save to accomplish their goals.
Just once I’d like to see one of those Washington boneheads we keep sending back stand up and say “Hey, we screwed up. We didn’t listen to the people. But we will from now on.” Good quote from no one, and there isn’t one senator or congressman that will admit to it either. but like I’ve said before, we rely upon the plastic dollar to get what we want and not real wealth, and that is the bottom line in our problem.
Working in retail like I do, I see far too many items being put on a Visa or MasterCard. And I know damn well they cannot afford to pay for what they are buying. So they end up paying and paying and paying and… You get the picture. As long as the minimum payments are made, you’re good to go. But if that is all you can afford to pay, you are only covering interest and will never pay for the product you purchased.
So we end up where we are today, paying all this money to companies that really don’t manufacture anything except for fiat currency, and for what? So some foreign billionaire can criticize the US’s policies? The bailouts are not going to solve our problem. They’ll only make it worse. We learned that from the Great Depression as some call it back in the twenties and thirties. A lot of undereducated historians claim Barak Obama will save us just like FDR did back in the forties. Except for one problem, it sounds like a good plan. The problem is that FDR did not solve the depression. WWII did. So, will the Great B.O. drive us into WWIII? Is Africa going to become the new battleground? FDR had Europe and Asia, Truman had Korea, Kennedy through Nixon had Viet Nam, and the Bushes had the Middle East. Obama, next in line may end up in Somalia, Darfur, Zimbabwe, and any number of other up and coming military conflicts from Sub-Saharan Africa. Will that solve our economic problems?
It would probably be a temporary fix, but until we learn that plastic money is not real money, we’ll continue to get ourselves in hot water financially. Credit is a valuable tool if used wisely, but the US is no longer a wise user of credit. We need to cut those plastic cards up and start paying with cash for our everyday needs. Real money, not just a vague promise of real money at 22.9% interest and no payments for ninety days. Use credit to buy a home and car, but cash for everything else. Put off buying those widescreens and snowmobiles if you have to, but pay cash, and start driving up the value of our currency. That is the only real cure for this crisis. Put the credit mongers out of business for good.
Surprisingly enough, this future of failing retail enterprises is what the environmentalist want for Maine. By stabbing the taxpayers in the back and forcing the mega developments through the hoops in the Moosehead region, i.e. Plum Creek, they have assured us that only the menial low paying jobs are good enough for Maine. Jobs that have no security, pay low wages, offer no benefits, and have an uncertain prospect at best. The LURC erred in allowing this proposal to go forward as presented to the people. They done did us wrong, folks.
We need to get back to our industrial roots here in Maine if we are going to grow as a state. We need to get back those manufacturing jobs that drifted overseas where the cost of doing business is tremendously less than it is here. We need to contact our elected representatives and tell them we want a full investigation and review of the LURC’s actions, as well as the involvement of all of the stakeholders associated with the presentation of this plan. Especially in light of the fact that they have placed the future of Greenville in peril by limiting their options to failing economic segments such as retail, travel and the hospitality industries.