The news the past few days hasn’t really been a surprise — it’s been pretty obvious we’ve been in a recession, and it only took the “official” tag to make it, well, official. We’ve written about the local economy in Sanford the past few weeks … and while I believe Sanford and North Carolina will ultimately survive because we’re not relying on the auto industry or major banks (with the exception of Wachovia) to keep going, we haven’t been immune to the problems.
Consider the following in Lee County in the past few months:
• Wyeth, the county’s largest employer, has cut more than 100 jobs
• We’ve been told the Sanford Magneti Marelli plant has laid off some workers … though we’re still trying to track that one down.
• There have been a few brick and textile plants shutting down this year, and some have announced spans of non-production to save money.
My family felt the recession’s giant fists this week, as my dad and step-mom (plus my step-sister and her husband) all work for Pilgrim’s Pride’s main plant in Pittsburg, Tx. The company announced bankruptcy this week, and announced it would cut 300-plus jobs. My step-mom was one of the cuts. Definitely not a nice “Christmas gift.” The Siler City Pilgrim’s plant shut down earlier this year, and the Sanford plant is telling us the bankruptcy won’t have an effect on them … for now.
I, of course, don’t have the answer to what it will take to get us out of all of this. I’m a believer that the economy will right itself eventually, and we shouldn’t be bailing out one industry when so many others are struggling as well. My wife and I are fortunate we still have jobs. I work in an industry that’s hurting (the newspaper industry), though I don’t see losing my job in the foreseeable future. I could be wrong.
I will, however, consider others more this holiday season and I hope others do as well. That seems to be all we can do … support local businesses if we can and help out our fellow man.
And when this recession dies down … then let’s live like it’s the 80s and spend like hell.
Bright yellow Ferrari, anyone?