A couple weeks ago in the Daily Times, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity, Molly Hilligoss, wrote a telling opinion piece stating clearly, "...convenience store jobs can't lift Wicomico residents out of poverty." Unfortunately, she is absolutely spot on and yet local politicians continue to ignore this truth over and over again.
In the piece, she broke down the reality of convenience store economics as a way to answer the news of the new Royal Farms slated for the corner of College and South Salisbury Boulevard. However, if you really think about it, it also explains the working model of both City and County politicians when they speak of things like folk music festivals, which only produce jobs during show dates. These temporary jobs don't offer voters anymore certainty or stability than a traveling circus, yet, they (the local politicians) think it's a grand boost to our economy as if the 72-hour ordeal will makeup for all the other times of the year when local workers can't pay to survive.
The only benefactor of a permanent position from this festival extravaganza is the gal who is the supposed manager because surely Day will make her position permanent, even when she's ill-equipped to handle something as massive as a festival. This doesn't help the local economy in the big picture but who cares as long as it looks good in the now. Warm fuzzy moments abound!
If the local politicians had been all that concerned about the economy, why didn't they do more to keep Steel Services or Brainwave Computers open?
Hilligoss states these low-paying jobs available now in Salisbury don't even meet their lowered standards for homeownership but this doesn't seem to inspire the local political class into creating a fertile business environment for new companies to give the area a chance. While there may be lots of openings, most local companies don't last long due to high taxes, local political red tape and over-regulation. In the end, economy-boosting companies always choose to go to more business-friendly areas, leaving both City and County residents high and dry.
All the free college tuitions in the world won't stop this mass exodus if the local government doesn't get a handle on how to solicit quality companies to come and stay in the area. Better yet, isn't it time for you to expect your elected officials to do more traditional efforts for their voting base and quit pinning all their hopes on fly-by-night ventures like festivals?
Low-paying jobs don't buy voter confidence...
One would think local politicians would want their constituents to be satisfied with their lots in life because happy voters don't usually switch horses. Statistically speaking, 86% of the time, incumbents keep their day job but it's only contingent on if the voters are happy on a long-term basis. Therefore, why are local politicians playing political roulette with midterms so close on the horizon?