Have we hit the bottom?

According to the El Paso Inc.’s Book of Lists, eleven of the fourteen largest employers in El Paso feed at the public trough. That is, they’re financed by tax dollars. As such, they’re insulated from the downside of normal business cycles, because there’s always taxes.

That constant influx of money also assures El Paso a certain level of collateral economic activity, because all those government and quasi-governmental employees need places to spend their money.

Like I used to explain it when I owned a bar, those government employees spend their money at the grocery store, and those grocery store employees spend that same money at the body shop, and those body shop employees spend their money on drugs, and those drug dealers spend their money at the bar. It’s like the circle of life, with the government taking a cut on every transaction, except for that off-the-book activity between the body shop workers and the drug dealers.

So I reckon, buoyed, as we are, by so many government paychecks, for us to reach a point where we have to jack the property tax rate, for us to be losing workforce, and for our private sector wages to be decreasing, we must have gotten about as low as we can go.

If we’re not at the bottom, we should be able to see it from here.

It may be time for us to reconsider the policies of the last twelve years that have gotten us to where we’re at. Sure, it’s not the progressives fault the world economy tanked. But whatever we’ve done, it hasn’t worked.

Maybe it’s time to reevaluate our strategy. I know, change is uncomfortable, but so is dying a slow death.

We may not have hit the bottom, yet. But let’s stop trying to get there.


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