Unemployment in Lincoln County continued to bounce along the bottom in June, showing no improvement from May, both 8.4%. Of course that doesn’t count how many residents have stopped looking for work or who are working part time because they can’t find full time work.
Around the state, the state average unemployment rate in June was 7.9%. Bend was at 10%. Eugene Springfield 7.9% Salem 8.3%. Coos 10.2%. Polk County 7.9%. Tillamook County 7.6%.
As we continue to suffer through yet another year of recession, the philosophical battle continues to rage in the Congress. There are those who believe that too much government and regulation, along with too many lazy people and “benefit bandits” are holding the country back. Others believe that the wealth of the country is concentrated in too few hands who literally have tight fisted control over the economy and who want to drive down wages. And to do that they’re starving the U.S. of jobs by investing heavily in economies overseas.
One thing seems certain. The U.S. economy, after five years, is still bouncing along the bottom. Washington seems as paralyzed as the unemployment rate. Pulitzer Prize winning economist Paul Krugman continues to call for a massive infusion of public works projects that would put millions back to work and get the economy going again. Krugman also calls for what he calls REAL tax reform to begin paying down the country’s debt. He says without a healthy, robust economy, along with the wealthy paying their proper share of taxes, there is no way the debt will be paid off. “Arithmetic won’t let it,” he says. He also says that a certain amount of debt is a good thing – it fosters economic vitality. But too much, of course, is not. Meanwhile the U.S. and Europe remain economically dead in the water while many political leaders obsess about debt levels to the exclusion of all else.