"If the economy is getting better, I'm not sure for whom," Douglas Hunter, a resident of Chicago, told an Associated Press reporter this week."It certainly hasn't trickled down to me."
The AP story Thursday addressed the fact that while many economic indicators are showing gradual improvement, to the average Joe and Jane on the street the numbers are meaningless as they aren't feeling things getting better.
After typing in "U.S. economy" on an Internet search Thursday, here are some of the headlines from that day: "Voters dissatisfied with direction of U.S.," "Poll: Nearly 6 out of 10 Americans believe U.S. economy is worsening," "U.S. economic confidence down sharply from last week" and "U.S. economic confidence plunges."
I don't know about you, but I don't find anything reassuring in this news.
I share that this morning because Tuesday you and I are going to be asked to approve a lot of millage requests when we vote in the August primary election.
Did I say a lot? I could have just as easily substituted adjectives like "many, numerous, ton or full boatload."
That worries me this morning. I believe it also concerns millage advocates.
Whatever county you find yourself living in across our circulation area of Northeast Michigan, millage requests seeking money to aid worthy efforts are being asked of voters Tuesday. Everything from children to veterans, libraries to recreation are attached to the millage requests. Personally, I haven't seen any that I could not lend my support to. Individually, each has merit, seems reasonable and would benefit a particular segment of the community, like seniors, who could use the help.
Individually, and standing alone, I would think all could pass muster with voters.
But when grouped together and appearing in bulk before voters at the same time, will that hurt each of their chances?
How would you pick and choose what to support and what not?
It's not like in my travels through the region that I've seen any "Vote No" on millage signs for any of the requests. But, in fairness, neither have I noticed an inordinate number of "Vote Yes" signs. Yes, there are a few here and there but certainly not nearly the number as candidate signs that litter the landscape.
Heading into Tuesday I think of people like Doug Hunter or Joe and Jane Q. Public. I know that some are underwater on their mortgages. I know that some no longer have full-time jobs. I know that some have had the hours reduced at their part-time jobs. I know that some have had to make wage concessions. I know that all are paying more than they believe fair for things like gasoline, insurance or groceries.
I know that each of them has to make choices daily on what to purchase, when to purchase it and how much to purchase at any one point.
And, I know Tuesday, if they choose to turn out at the polls, they will have more choices to make.
I want to be optimistic they will make the same choice I would.
However, I would hate to see that choice come down to whether they first stopped for gas on the way to the polling place.
The millage requests all deserve better than coming down to chance like that. For the sake of each of them, it's too bad so many ended up lumped together in this primary.