Grandstanding vs. Action: the stimulus

Until the bad economy hits you, it’s easy to point fingers and say things like “they bought a house they couldn’t afford” or “the union contracts were too rich” or some other lame excuse.

Reality is, the whole financial system is being held together with chewing gum and duct tape. It’s fragile, it’s smoke and mirrors and the new economy that is emerging is more like a preemie than a healthy birth. One wrong step, and it could be bad news.

That’s why the powers that be in Warren County- the “booming” Warren county- feel very smug in their grandstanding turn down of federal stimulus money: the big bust hasn’t hit them yet. They don’t have any old economy mainstays in Warren County because 20 years ago they were just a bunch of farmer Bob’s (which was a good thing). Here is an excerpt from the Dayton Daily News:

Warren County told the Ohio Department of Transportation to keep $373,000 allocated for transit improvement. In fact, commissioners also are looking for a way to turn down another $1.8 million in stimulus funding available to the county for energy efficiency improvements to government buildings.

Commissioners said they rather have the money go to pay down the national debt. Warren is the only county in the state to refuse the money.

via Commissioner: Policies will run country off cliff.

In Dayton, we’re faced with the news that Cafe Boulevard is in reorganization. This isn’t GM, and there are no unions to blame here. It’s just a woman-owned local business that is suffering the effects of the meltdown. It’s part of what makes Dayton different and they employ a couple of dozen people who aren’t making millions and paying themselves bonuses.

If you are can afford a $25-per-person meal and are still going out to eat- you can do your part to help the economy by just going one time and giving Cafe Boulevard a try (329 E. Fifth Street Dayton 45402). If you’ve never been- you’ll be experiencing something new. If you have, you are giving them a chance to prove that they can give you an amazing meal. If the food and the service aren’t up to par- let them know, while you’re there so they can work to fix it- asap.

Unlike the Warren County Commissioners, I’m asking you to do something about fixing the economy instead of pointing fingers, or grandstanding. It’s a small action, but one that can make a difference. And, while you are down in the Oregon District– stop in and see Dale Walton at Gem City Records and buy an old fashioned CD- even a used one, and then stop in at Pacchia or Jazzy Java for your coffee, and maybe pick up a bottle of wine at the 5th Street Wine and Deli, and then head to the Neon to see a movie. One night out, $100 and you can help five local businesses stay in business.

It’s up to us to do our part in this and grandstanding shouldn’t be part of the equation.

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