Unemployment; and whether the United States will have a Democrat or Republican president, are two of the biggest concerns in Oregon right now.
Currently; in the State of Oregon, there is a 6.5% unemployment rate. This means that 123,176 Oregon residents do not have jobs. This is an increase of 25,754 people from the year before.
Last evening my husband and I were with a group of friends just relaxing, and enjoying the last of the decent weather. Of course, like a good many people in the nation, we were discussing the presidential debate that took place the night before; when all of a sudden it seemed, two of the friends started arguing heatedly. One person was saying it was the Democrats fault and the other, the Republicans. One of the women said, “Come on you guys, you know it was the Spotted Owl.” That did the trick. Most native Oregonians hate the Spotted Owl for what it did to our economy.
It started in 1973 when President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act. Then, in the late 80’s and early 90’s there were many struggles and battles between the Woodworkers and those protecting the Spotted Owl and their habitat. The struggle ended in March of 1991 when a U.S. Federal District Court judge directed the Forest Service to protect the Spotted Owls and their habitat. This decision landed hundreds of loggers and mill-workers out of work, and on unemployment.
During the debate Friday night Mr. Obama stated that he felt small businesses are the back-bone of this country, and I agree with that. For Oregonians to keep and maintain a small business, it is very difficult. The federal minimum wage is $6.55. In Oregon it is $7.95; and if that’s not bad enough, on January 1, 2009 it goes up to $8.40. I have heard so many people say, “What’s the big deal? It’s only $.45?”
The big deal is; it might only be $.45 more an hour to the employee, but to the employer it is $3.60 a day, $18.00 a week, $81.00 a month and $972.00 more a month that he will be paying each of the employees that he/she has. If the employer has more than one employee; it adds up to a lot of money. Then, in the big picture of things, for the employees that he/she has, that has worked their pay up from $7.95 to $8.40 an hour, the employer will have to increase their pay to get them to stay. This is one of the main reasons that make it difficult for Oregonians to own and maintain a small business.
Since Oregon became a state in 1858, we have had 21 Democrat governors, 20 Republic governors and 2 of another affiliation. Since 1987 though, Oregon’s governors have been Democrat. I do not believe unemployment in Oregon is a Republican/Democrat caused problem. It is caused by us voters who do not vote the right people into office that is under the governor.
We still have enough time before we mail our ballots in, to research the candidates who promise us the world if we vote for them. Check out their voting history, and how their stand on the issues that are important to you. Maybe our next group of politicians can help bring in more jobs.