Letter to the Editor

Poor Counties
“Douglas and Howell are among the ten poorest counties per person in the United States”  A line in an Opinion Letter from the August 12 edition of the Howell County News caught my eye.  I’ve been here for 10 years now, and consider this home.  It’s a good place to live.  I agree there are problems, but these problems are not caused by Jason Smith or Billy Long.  
These problems are caused because we don’t attract businesses to our area.  That isn’t a DC. Problem. It’s a State and Local problem.  If you want average income to increase you have two choices, and only two.  
-We have to provide incentives for local startups, or convince a business from another area to move here.  Higher paying jobs require an educated labor pool.  A company will not move to a location which doesn’t have a labor pool to draw from.  That pool must have the skills to support a growing business.  These are not DC., or for the most part State problems.  They are our problems, Local Government.  
-The other way is to increase the Welfare roll entitlement, but this doesn’t grow our community.  
The author’s opinion is that a few wealthy families and Republicans do things which hold us down and harm us.  How exactly do they do that?  The answer is that “They don’t”.  
Addressing specific items in the author’s opinion letter:  
-Wages -  Government shouldn’t try to control wages, it’s been proven time and again to be a job, and business killer.  
-Improving access to Healthcare  -  Then pay our Drs. more, and quit abusing those who do Medical work in our area.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people go to the Emergency Room or visit the Dr. for a cold.  If you are talking free stuff you lose me.  Nothing is free.   
-Education - Pay good teachers a good salary, fire the bad teachers.  If your Schools aren’t teaching STEM classes talk with your School Board.  Parents need to step up and learn what their children are being taught, and challenge School Boards to do what is beneficial for the students.  How many of us know what the current/future growth industries are?  Adult Education?  Who would come, who’d pay?  I once had a local teenager tell me that he’d never enlist in the Military because “they tell you what you have to do”.  He was unwilling to go into the Military and learn a trade because it required self-discipline on his part.  Guess where that person’s income comes from today?
-Worker safety?  Nothing is safe, even that bottle of aspirin in your medicine cabinet.  If your job is too dangerous, talk to management, if they won’t change, then change jobs.
-Poisons & Pollution – We have plenty of laws addressing this.  The environment has improved dramatically, I remember rivers catching fire when I was a teen, and Lake Erie was a dying lake.  Not so today.  
I’m not adverse to what Mr. Calhoun is saying; I am adverse to thinking that DC or State Government can solve our problems.  We have to do that on our own with a plan to improve our lot.  Government isn’t our friend, and we should  all remember that each time we vote.  Free stuff isn’t free; someone else has been taxed to pay for our wants or needs.
Troy Galebach
Willow Springs

Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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