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Mike’s Musings: America at a Critical Crossroads

Editors Note: I wrote this one year ago, and now find it more relevant than it was when it was written.
I’m growing more and more concerned that our republic will struggle to maintain its standing as a leader in this world. I say that because COVID and the resulting hysteria it brings, has done great damage to our country. For instance:
-The price of gasoline, as well as other products are putting a huge dent in the pocketbook of Americans. Gas prices that teetered around $2 a gallon a year ago have increased by 25 to 40 percent. But that’s only one commodity. Have you been to the grocery store lately? The price of a good steak has skyrocketed. Toilet paper and other paper products have gone sky high. Quite simply most groceries cost far greater than they did before COVID.
Now because of the war in Ukraine, and the ruling party’s reluctance to drill for oil and gas in America, the price at the pump is greater that it has ever been. Not $3, or even $4, but over $5 for a gallon of gas just a few weeks ago.
-A dual problem, is the simple fact that a lot of goods can’t be had, or they take much longer to receive. How many times have you went to purchase an item and have heard the item isn’t in stock and will take a month to get? The supply chain has crumbled. Manufacturers can’t find employees to manufacture items. Trucking companies are offering huge bonuses to people willing to take up over-the-road driving. Quite simply our supply chain is lagging, and its not because of effort.
-As alluded to earlier, a major problem we face as a nation is the number of people on unemployment, unwilling to work. The federal government continues to pay people more to sit at home than they can make working a 40-hour job. Its insane and only exacerbates the aforementioned problem of higher prices and lack of goods and services. It also is creating a country where many of us becoming dependent on our government for our well-being. Quite simply this is not good.
-Guess what, the lack of employees and the inability to get product in a timely manner hurts the small businessperson most. The evolution of shopping is changing drastically, much to the chagrin of all of us who operate small businesses. First we were under attack by shopping malls that housed chain stores and were fun and easy to shop. But the malls were decimated by big box stores, like Walmart, who sold cheap Chinese goods, that became staples in most American homes. Now it is online stores, like Amazon, that are providing an even greater challenge to small businesses. The Amazons of the world have no problem getting supplies or people.
I am concerned they along with the fear COVID has created will destroy small businesses, and thus small town America will be gone forever. That would be a shame. Small businesses and small towns go hand in hand. They feed off of one another. They provide much of the energy that makes America great. Without them, we will become a nation where neighbors are no longer important and making that special trip in to town to pick up goods or services will not happen.
As Americans we can’t let this happen. We have got to get back work, each and every one of us, and we must patronize our small businesses. If we don’t, our great republic will be forever changed, and probably not in a good way.

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