Staff column: Be sensible about local economy
The coming year of 2009 holds a lot of surprises for each of us; some will be good, some will be bad.
If one listens to the national news, most forecasters predict that the economy may begin to turn around in the new year, but many others say that it won't happen until sometime in 2010.
It's easy to get caught up in what is being said, with bailouts, business failures, foreclosures, high numbers of people out of work and other signs of a weak economy showing up in the national news daily. But that's just the point; it's national.
Utah's economy so far is strong, with some signs of weakness coming in, but nothing like what is happening in places like California or Michigan.
Even more importantly, our local eastern Utah economy should be strong; demand for energy is still up despite falling oil prices and looking at what is going here no one group of people are losing their jobs over this so-called recession so far.
But if you ask around town a lot of people are scared and are pulling in their horns as far as spending goes; and that group includes individuals and business people as well. A lot of people that run businesses that supply goods and serviceds are seeing that happening; and it seems to be a reaction to what is going on in other parts of the country.
Cable news, expanded network news and the Internet have been lauded as a new frontier for the last 25 years, bringing people all the news, all the time. But just maybe the development of these new sources of information isn't so positive; maybe watching all that, all the time makes it so people have an unrealistic negative view of what is going on everywhere, rather than just knowing the truth about things. How people perceive what is going on nationally certainly can affect the local economy.
Last week a group of local business and government leaders from Carbon and Emery counties got together to discuss what can be done about this malaise that seems to be settling over communities that really have had mostly good economic news for the past two years. Unemployment is still very low, the energy business continues to thrive, and besides some government cuts in the area over the next year, things look pretty good.
A decision was made between the local radio stations and the Sun Advocate and Emery County Progress, that we are all going to work together to put out some positive news about eastern Utah's economy. We are going to conduct interviews and do pieces on businesses that are thriving. That will begin with radio programs starting Jan. 5, 2009 and will continue indefinitely in both broadcast and print forms well into the new year.
What we are asking people to do is to listen and read about what is positive economically in our area and make their decisions based on that information rather than what the talking heads from New York and Los Angeles tell them.
Basically we are saying, don't buy into the recession, because we are reasonably strong here, and that kind of negative thinking can be a self fulfilling prophecy.
We believe in eastern Utah and its good people; and we are asking you to do the same.