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Unemployment’s Bad in Buffalo, Everywhere Else

by on November 23, 2009

There’s no law that everyone has to be equally miserable, although the present Congress might soon address that.  Until then, Buffalo is nonetheless going with the flow down the drain instead of floating above the present nationwide depressing standard.  G. Scott Thomas from Business First notes that Erie County’s unemployment rate ticked one-tenth higher to 8.2 percent last month, which provokes nostalgia for the not-particularly halcyon days of one year ago:

The truly important measure is year-to-year, since it equalizes any seasonal factors that might otherwise skew the numbers. And comparisons between October 2008 and October 2009 aren’t nearly as sunny. They aren’t, in fact, sunny at all.

There were 64,700 unemployed workers in Western New York last month, up from 44,800 in the same month a year ago. And the unemployment rates in all eight counties rose significantly.

While that mark stands below the national average, the cranky realists could point out that the area didn’t have as far to plummet: it was already financially shaky when the national collapse began.  Many good prospective workers had already bailed on Erie County.  Even worse is the worse percentage within the City of Buffalo.  At 10.2 percent, it’s the same as the national rate, which is to say it’s deplorable.

Regrettably, some think that the solution is to install a gap-tooth look in area neighborhoods on your dime.  Buffalo ReUse can brag all they want about how good they are at turning empty houses into empty spaces. But there’s an obviously more efficient brand of recycling: find someone who wants to live in said empty houses.  That’s genuine, environmentally-friendly reuse, and isn’t that what the greens want?

Of course, achieving that goal would necessitate the rather daunting accomplishment of fixing the economy.  But that turnaround begins by reducing the government’s role in our lives.  We can start by cutting federal funding for, oh, tearing down houses. Such intrusive spending that put us here in the first place.  Stop sapping workers’ incomes, and watch homes fill before we sink to salvaging parts from desolate residences.

The tax-funded grants in question hurt the economies of both the city and nation.  But why recognize that temporary patches and Extreme Makeover visits won’t cure Buffalo’s significant ailments?  That means the solutions to our problems are hard.  It’s much easier to obey the APPLAUSE sign. Such thinking aside, this is as good a time as any to realize that governmental heavy-handed micromanagement from the city up has weighed us down.

While circumstances have deteriorated from this time last year until now, the best hope could in turn come at this time next year.  Specifically, old yet new options like Rick Lazio and Rudy Giuliani may offer at least marginal hope for the prospect of free-market solutions on the state and federal level, respectively.  It beats expecting that the government’s next scheme will save us.  Until then, Buffalo is in identical shape to the rest of the nation.  Unfortunately.

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From → Buffalo, Economy

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