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December 29, 2010 7:44 pm

EDITORIAL: Think community in 2011

Written by Don Amend

In many ways, 2010 has been a bad year.

The eonomic downturn that began in 2008 persists, not only in the U.S., but in Europe and Japan, and although there are signs that things are improving, it is slow and unemployment continues at unacceptable levels.

 

The slow economy has aggravated the nation’s national debt, and there is wide disagreement about how to deal with the situation. Despite the promises in last fall’s election campaign, it doesn’t appear that we are willing to make hard choices that need to be made.

Locally, though, we are much better off than the nation as a whole. Unemployment in Park County — although a bit higher than the average in Wyoming — is nearly three percentage points lower than the national rate, and our state government’s balance sheet is still positive.

Still, the Powell community has suffered setbacks. The most notable one was the closing of Weatherford Completion Manufacturing, but other, smaller events have had a negative impact on our economy as well.

So, as we enter the new year, the future is uncertain, as the future always is. 

Hundreds of factors affect our national and local economy, and many of those factors, such as the growth of the Chinese economy, are beyond our control.

One factor we can control, though, is sense of community, and our group determination to keep Powell a pleasant and prosperous place to live.

About 20 years ago, a severe drought hit a small farming community south of Powell. Toward the end of summer, the situation was critical, but as one farmer put it, “It’s a serious situation, but we’ll get through it as a community.”

And they did.

Having that attitude is, in the end, the way Powell, along with Park County and the entire Big Horn Basin, can weather our current problems and return to better times.

We urge everyone to pull together as a community to make 2011 a happy and prosperous new year.

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