COLUMNS

Our Little Town: Things could be worse

Paul Boerger, column

You gotta love this town.

Our country’s current economic troubles continue and pundits are beginning to compare the current situation to the Great Depression that began in 1929. A comparison of statistics reveals, however, that we are a long way from the kind of desperate times that existed back then.

At the height of the Great Depression unemployment reached 25 percent, the stock market lost 90 percent of its value, nearly 11,000 banks failed and there was no FDIC?insurance protecting deposits. Currently, we have 8.1 percent unemployment nationally, 39 bank failures going back to 2008 with deposits up to $250,000 insured and the stock market has fallen 52 percent since the current crises began.

Although hard, we are not even close to the Great Depression.

Note that in those days there was no unemployment insurance, social security, food stamps, public housing, bank deposit insurance or even a minimum wage. Until president Franklin Roosevelt pushed through government assistance and protection programs, you were on your own. Malnutrition was rampant, homelessness was epidemic, suicide rates soared and contagious diseases such as tuberculosis spread throughout the country.

Although it is a difficult time, we are a lot better off than they were in those dark times.

If there is one thing you can do to help our little town in this economic downturn, it is to buy local whenever and wherever you can. Money spent elsewhere does not keep our businesses open and our friends and neighbors employed.

I have had the opportunity to ride on the ski lifts with out of towners recently and the praises for Mount Shasta have been unanimous. I have heard some version of “everyone is so friendly” numerous times. And that is another way you can benefit our little town. Tourism is a huge industry for us and the nicer we are, not that we wouldn’t be naturally of course, the more people will come and enjoy our beauty and activities, and generously share their money with us.

Business kudos this week go to Littrell’s Auto Parts. My wife stopped into the Mount Shasta store to get a wiper arm and blade replaced. Not only did they take the time to walk out to the car and make sure they got the right unit, they put it on for her.

With tongue firmly in cheek, however, I wonder if I would have received the same service as my very cute, blonde haired, green eyed honey.

You gotta love this town.

Have a kindness you would like to share?

Email Paul Boerger at paulboerger@usa.net.