A stimulus for our local economy

We can?t do much about the bailout insanity going on in Washing?ton. Handing out billions with no oversight is just plain crazy. The mess is already made, so why compound it with throwing money at it without any assurance of it working?and it appears that it hasn?t so far.

We can?t control what is done on the national scene but we can control what is done locally.

I mentioned that I would be putting forth a stimulus package for Marion County and here is how it looks. These words shouldn?t be said out loud but I am doing it anyway.

If we wish to preserve our way of life in these parts there is only one answer: We must all make a pledge to buy everything possible from our local merchants. When there are no local merchants we have no tax base and therefore no way to provide what everyone expects to have available in our towns.

It really has come to the point of no return. If we expect to live here and enjoy the benefits of small-town and rural living then it is imperative that we also support our local businesses.

That means buying all of our groceries locally. That means buying our lumber locally. That means buying our vehicles locally. That means buying all of our supplies locally.

It costs too much, you say? (Not true, I say. Many things are less here.) Or do you mean just today it costs too much and driving is free? If our businesses go away then how much does it cost?

Who will contribute to your charities, your church, your college, your non-profit organization?s special events? Where will the tax money come from to support local governments?

Our pull factor used to be 1.0 and above as few as 10 years ago. The latest figure I saw was 0.5. Pull factor of 1.0 means that for every dollar going out, one dollar is coming in. A pull factor of 0.5 means only one dollar is coming in for every two going out.

Studies also show that a dollar spent locally turns over seven times. When we buy from each other the money stays here and is multiplied. When money is spent away from here it is gone for good and has no further effect on the local economy.

When was the last time a Wichita business contributed to your fundraiser? OK, it does happen occasionally, but not often.

The Buxton report funded by the city of Hillsboro a few months ago showed how much money is being spent by people living in Marion County on various categories of products and services. You would be astounded to see how much money is being spent elsewhere on things we have right here. I think the city would give you a copy of the report if you asked for it.

Do local businesses need to give good service so you to want to buy locally? Yes, they do. Do they need to be friendly and grateful for your business and go the second mile for you? Yes, they do. Do they need to keep their stores maintained, clean and bright? Yes, they do. Do they need to be open during the times you can shop with them if you work out of town? Yes, they do.

It?s a Catch 22. Businesses have to have business to provide more goods and services. With?out business they won?t have the money to provide more goods and services.

So here is my stimulus package in a nutshell: Make the effort to keep as much of our money in the county and give it some time to see what a difference it can make. It?s worth a shot.

Better to try it now than after everybody has locked the doors and we are left on our own.

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