According to a recently released December report, Clark County Washington's unemployment is at 14.3%, the worst among Washington State's 39 counties. Considering those who have stopped reporting, real joblessness in Clark County could be more like 22%-25% ... the equivalent of nearly 1 in 4 Clark County residents out of work.
Jon Russell, Candidate for U.S. Congress in Southwest Washington's 3rd District (encompassing Clark County) published a blog post on his campaign Website today, to address this topic. Russell does a great job of pointing out where our State and Federal Legislators have been failing us in this regard. At the same time, Russell offers several alternatives that make much more sense than the approach being taken by our current batch of elected officials. In fact, he does such a good job of "hitting the nail on the head" on this issue that I got his permission to re-post his article in its entirety, as follows:
As continuing layoffs coupled with negligible new hiring has continued to push Clark County’s unemployment rate higher and higher, it seems that our State and Federal Legislators have remained missing in action, in terms of offering real solutions. For the most part, they have looked to the government for solutions, such as the much heralded “stimulus spending’” program.
But where are the jobs resulting from this? So far, all that is apparent is that we’ve turbocharged our nation’s indebtedness, providing no immediate relief and financially enslaving future generations. Our Legislators have spent their time tinkering with existing government programs and budgets, as the source of solutions for this crisis.
When will they realize that American Greatness has never come from its government? It comes from our people and what we have built into our communities. That’s why my proposals have been aimed at firing up the private sector through helping small businesses to be able to start up and to grow and to create jobs. Likewise, that’s why, as an elected official, I’ve consistently voted against accepting any “stimulus money” and instead, I’ve worked to find as many ways as possible to reduce the economic burden our citizens are presently bearing.
The current focus on “Health care Reform” is only aggravating our unemployment crisis without actually improving health care. Here again, our State and Federal Legislators are mostly looking to the government to offers solutions or they’re tinkering with existing related government programs and budgets. With the business model I established at Columbia Gorge Medical Center, we’ve created a successful and expanding business that’s created jobs and is meeting under served health care needs in our community without any government involvement. Why are our current State and Federal elected officials not looking to private sector solutions like this when it comes to improving health care?
And finally, I want to say that I’ve been very dismayed with how our State and Federal Legislators are failing to engage with citizens, to work shoulder-to-shoulder in finding the solutions they see as being best. This past August, it was apparent that many were dissatisfied with our incumbent U.S. Congressional Representative looking only to himself as the source for right answers to our communities challenges, while he provided the illusion of “listening to the people” through devices like Tele-Town-Halls. Sadly, other State and Federal Legislators are carrying on with that approach. That’s why I recently invested in a Mobile Campaign Headquarters, better enabling us to be with the people throughout Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, continuing the Town Hall series we initiated last Summer and to offer numerous other forms of meeting opportunities, as well as holding Town Hall after Town Hall.
Remember, We are the solution to the economic crisis. Our businesses, communities & charities are what made our nation great and will again.