Writer sees deeper causes for our current economic woes

Published 10:02 pm Monday, October 20, 2003

By Staff
Dear editor:
I appreciated your editorial this week on the effect of the lack of revenue on our court (judicial) system. Not only is the judicial system effected but everything else that is financed by our taxes: education, highways, law enforcement and administration and on and on. You had a headline recently on the reductions made necessary by reduced funding in education in Escambia County as presented by our Superintendent of Education, Mr. Powell.
The recent plans for revised tax revenue presented by the Governor and the Legislature were rejected. Now is the time for belt tightening and adjustments. No doubt there is more house cleaning that needs to be done. We have probably spent money where it never should have been spent in the first place.The fact is though that the county and the state need more revenue to continue to provide the services that we want and need even after all the adjustments (the fat) is trimmed away.
This is not just an Escambia County or an Alabama problem; it is a national problem. Tighten your belt and hold on, because the situation is going to get worse.
The source of the problem seems to elude us all. I don't hear anyone, not one politician, official or news media person address the real problem: our tax base is eroding because everyone is buying imported goods. As a result, we are losing manufacturing jobs every day, the higher paying jobs that produce more tax revenue and replace them with service jobs that pay less and generate less tax revenue.
If we stop or even slow down buying imported goods, our revenue situation could be turned around in six months. Every foreign car you see on the streets represents a lost manufacturing job for one of our neighbors, our fellow tax paying citizens.
The assembly plants in Alabama for foreign are given tax advantage or exemptions. If you look into it, I expect the assemble plants are billed retail price for the sub-assemblies they export to this country; therefore they "show" little or no profit for which they pay tax to this country. Imports have long effected our manufacturing business, and now, as a result, it is effecting our government (tax) financed service. As I said earlier, it is going to get worse.
It is just a matter of time if we don't use some common sense and realize what the real problem is.
We can't finance, feed and protect the world and give them our jobs too.
An example: Even our beloved University of Alabama athletic department buys equipment from Nike, even though we have one of the best manufacturers of sports equipment right here in Alabama, Russell Mfg. This is just one example.
We have been brainwashed; we have somehow been led to believe that foreign goods are better, more exciting that American-made goods. We have been led to believe that we are somehow un-American if we refuse to buy imported goods. If you are not aware that you are buying imported goods, turn them up and look at the label to see where they are made.
Every time we make a purchase we are casting a ballot, we are voting for the success of the manufacturing company. Who are you voting for? Is it your neighbor? Who will pay for the public goods and services we want and need?
I want my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to enjoy life in this country that I have been privileged to enjoy.
Jeff Larrimore