I’ve made a couple of posts in the past 24 hours that I hope more people than usual will read:
- Roanoke conference sharing innovative ideas about improving small cities; Chris Morrill among the speakers
- Metro Savannah unemployment rate up from last year, considerably worse in city limits than in suburbs
It’s funny — ]actually funny — how few people even click on some of the posts about the economy I make here. I get it: you just don’t want to hear more bad news. But I don’t see how we can solve problems if we don’t understand them, and we can’t understand them if we run from them. My column this upcoming Sunday, for example, is filled with thoughts about why people move outside the Savannah city limits. The entire column was prompted by a bizarre statement by Edna Jackson at Monday’s mayoral debate — she said that people only moved away in search of quiet, not because they don’t like Savannah.
So in writing about the 11.1% unemployment rate in the city of Savannah — up sharply from 10.4% in September a year ago — I’m hoping that it will be obvious that we need to do more at all levels of government to nurture jobs. I’m not just bemoaning the current state of things; I’m hoping that people will do more when they realize how bad things still are, well over two years since the recovery began. (By the way, I’d bet that U-6 unemployment in the city — which would include workers who are only marginally attached to the workforce, those working part-time who would like to be working full-time, etc. — would be over 20%.)
And as I read my own post about the Roanoke conference, where Chris Morrill is city manager, I’m thinking about all the things that could be happening in Savannah that aren’t. We could be looking ahead with optimism, we could have transparent integrity in governance, we could be looking at best practices in terms of improving quality of life, and on and on. Sometimes we do some of those things here in Savannah, but the last 18 months have been pretty pathetic on all those levels.
I’ll be thinking about these things — the serious problems and the incredible potential — when I vote on November 8th.