Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Longevity of Towns

Are towns with companies where most people work better off than towns with no companies? I have seen the towns with no large companies that lasted longer because they have to diversify and not depend on one or two places for people of the town to work. I came from Dresden, a little town in Ohio. It had a company at each end of the town. One was a woolen mill. The other was a paper mill. Dresden sat between two larger towns, about 15 miles apart. Slowly the two mills shut down, but then a new company came about as a result of a local man David “Popeye” Longaberger, who started the Longaberger basket company. It became a billion dollar company and most of the town’s people worked for this company or at other businesses owned by Longaberger. When Longaberger died, the company he started in a garage started to go downhill, especially after his daughter shifted manufacturing to China, destroying the uniqueness and brand of the baskets they made. Luckily, there were the two towns bordering this little one for people to find other work, but the town is slowly dying. The days of company towns where generation after generation worked are just about gone. The only way for some towns to survive is if they diversify what’s there while there is still a town and workers. Towns must have forward-looking leaders who will try new things, such as stop allowing companies to commit wage abuse and tax avoidance on their towns and people. Some things will work and some won’t, but once the town dies it is very hard to revive it. Once a town loses its law enforcement, fire department and most of its infrastructure, no one will take a chance on investing in a house or business in that town. When looking for a place to work, retire or raise your family, you should take a look at the longevity of the town. How many unions are present in the town or county? This will give you an idea of the tax base that supports the town and county.