Read any community newspaper or other local news source in any big city or small town across the United States and you’ll find stories about:
1. How do we spend all this federal government money we’re getting?
2. How can local businesses find people to hire?
3. How do we pay for the rising costs of …..everything?
The dichotomy between having state, county, city governemts, and school districts awash in new cash from federal tax dollars (albeit borrowing) and the struggle local businesses, especially service businesses, are having is disconcerting.
Local governments are having special meetings just to decide how best to spend the federal windfall.
Local businesses don’t have time for meetings because they are working long hours keeping their doors open while they offer more and more to any potential employees they can find. They are bending over backwards to try to keep the good workers they have. Luckily for them, Wyoming, along with 20 or more other states are declining any more of the extra federal covid unemployment compensation offered in an effort to aid employers in hiring the workers they urgently need.
The third news topic is one that the national media has been slow to pick up on. The prices for fuel, meat, food, building materials, and just about anything you need are quickly and repeatedly rising. No one wants to talk about inflation. Especially anyone who is old enough to have lived through the 18 percent interest rate and inflation of the Jimmy Carter years in the 1970’s.
But higher costs of living are here now. Those higher costs are squeezing small business owners at a time when they can least afford it. They have no choice but to raise prices for their goods and services, many already have.
So when you have to dig deeper in your pocket to pay for your favorite meal at your favorite local eatery it isn’t because the owner wants to gouge you to buy a new yacht. It is because the wholesale cost to them of the food they serve has risen, and the labor costs they must pay to hire and keep people have risen, too.
When you have to raise the limit on your credit card just to fill your gas tank at the pump, the station owner isn’t making big bucks. He is just passing on the price increase from his supplier.
Next time at the grocery store or supermarket, the cheaper cuts of meat may be your choice to stay within your budget. Just like toilet paper during Covid-19 lock downs, you may find a sparce selection of meat and other staples.
That’s what happens when the federal government uses our tax dollars and newly created money to artificially stimulate the national economy. That’s what happens when our government artificially limits production of energy and other commodities. That’s what happens when our government artificially pays Americans too much to stay home and out of the labor market.
Some local small businesses have already given up the battle to survive. Here’s hoping we don’t loose any more before our leaders realize they need to get government out of the way and allow market forces to correct the missteps and create an economy that grows for all of us.