If you read the Sunday paper's lead article, 2012 Looking Back / 2013 Looking Forward, there were some interesting trends:
- Of the 41 opinions gathered by the paper, only two were from business leaders. The other 39 were from government employees, non-profit leaders, students and volunteers.
- The collective opinion of the group was that while 2012 was difficult, 2013 looks more promising with grand plans in store for the Basin.
- Only one of the 41 opinions said anything about the Affordable Care Act, which sinks its teeth in much deeper in 2013. Another opinion spoke about Federal and State mandates becoming more difficult to navigate.
While this is an interesting perspective from a select section of the Klamath community, my specific question is where are the opinions from Jeld-Wen, from South-Valley Bank & Trust, from Bell Hardware, from Lithia Motors, Columbia Forrest Products, Fred Meyers, Basin Mediactive, Winema Electric, your favorite restaurant owner and from a former Aqua Glass employee? If the paper was really interested in giving us a story on the real economic outlook for 2013, you would've seen fewer opinions from students, volunteers and government employees and more from business leaders.
Doesn't the paper understand that it is business that funds all these other parts of society? With an anemic business community the outlook can be anything but rosy. And yet, that's the semi-rose-colored-glass predictions we saw from most of the 41 opinions in the paper. Very few of them are concerned about downsizing or losing their jobs. The local economy doesn't apply to them. They are the elite, the special glass, that must be funded at all costs, no matter what that cost is to you or I.
If you asked any of the businesses mentioned above about their view of 2013, what you would learn is that very few are thinking about expanding (aka no new jobs), most see the Affordable Care Act as a new huge expense on their business, that the Dodd-Frank law really begins to take hold and add all sorts of rules and regulations to how and to whom banks can and can't lend money (not to mention all the new fees that will be a result of these burdens), the inability of the Federal Government to get serious about their budget and credit problems, and that revenues will most likely be flat to declining.
Happy New Year? 2013 is not likely to be a repeat 2012, but just a little bit better. No, 2013 is more likely to be 2009 all over again,... and probably a little bit worse.