President Barack Obama and his Democratic Congress continue to crow about how the economy is expanding because of their stimulus package. The government’s multi-million dollar website, Recovery.gov, goes into great detail tracing the number of jobs created or “saved” in each congressional district by the stimulus, but their funny numbers take credit for jobs in districts that don’t even exist (e.g., Missouri’s 14th congressional district; we only have 9)! Meanwhile, unemployment (which Obama had claimed the stimulus would keep below 8%) has hit double digits (10.2% to be exact).
There are better measures of how the economy is doing, and St. Louisans are receiving one of them at our homes now. It’s the new AT&T Yellow Pages. It’s thinner, lighter, but the print isn’t any smaller (they already made that change a few years ago). What’s different is that there are fewer businesses to serve us than there were just a year ago.
The paid advertising section has 54 fewer pages, but that depends on how much businesses are willing to spend on advertising. In hard economic times, some businesses actually increase their advertising in a desperate attempt to take business away from their competitors.
A better measure of the number of businesses serving us is the white business pages, which used to be part of the white pages but are now in the Yellow Pages. These pages declined from 259 in the December, 2008 edition to 238 in the new December, 2009 version. That’s a drop of over 8% in approximately the one-year period since Obama was elected president.
So, what’s happening? There is a common thread of who’s in charge. The City of St. Louis is governed by Mayor Francis Slay, the latest in an uninterrupted 60-year string of Democrat mayors, and a board of aldermen (counting its presiding officer) with a 28-1 Democrat majority. St. Louis County is governed by Charlie Dooley, the latest in a 23-year string of Democrat county executives, and a county council with a 5-2 Democrat majority. Missouri is back under the control of a Democrat governor (Jeremiah W. Nixon V), and the United States is governed by President Obama and large Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.
When a business tanks, the directors dump the CEO. It’s time that voters did the same to their elected officials.