While economists argue over whether or not we are coming out of the Great Recession…and when and how the stimulus money is doing what it is supposed to do…let’s look at a couple of areas in Mississippi.
Obviously, you know how things are holding up at your house…but what about on the state government level?
In the last 24 hours we have learned that Mississippi Highway officials have been informed that another $102 million has been cut from the money we were supposed to get from the federal government to repair roads and bridges in our state. Add that to the $6 Billion shortfall we are already facing in that area, and it may seem like a small percentage. But when you look at the deteriorating shape of our highways, roads, and bridges in Mississippi you know that we need every penny. Transportation is vital…not just for local convenience and safety…but for economic development as well.
We’ve also learned that more cuts are a strong possibility for the University of Southern Mississippi. As we reported, at the USM fall convocation Higher Education Commissioner, Hank Bounds warned the university to be prepared for more cuts progressively over the next few years. In fact, Bounds said that all eight of the public universities will have to reinvent themselves in order to have a quality program in the next four to five years. Again, this impacts not only our current native population of young people…education is another thing that companies look at when deciding where to locate.
Transportation and education are two of the lynch pins for both quality of life and continuing prosperity and growth for any locale. We have confidence that the institutions involved will do everything they can to work smart…but this is not encouraging news. Let’s hope the economists who say we are on the way out are right. Every day this economy lingers in the doldrums something suffers, and not just now…but well into the future.
I don’t like to talk about gloomy subjects…but forewarned is forearmed. We must all do our part in whatever measure we can and keep our heads up for better times ahead.
I’m Jim Cameron…that’s today’s Viewpoint. Let us know what you think.
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