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  • Last modified 3333 days ago (Oct. 1, 2009)

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Let's recession-proof our towns

The shot heard around Kansas, and our house, last week was the bombshell report that KPERS — Kansas Public Employees Retirement System — was bankrupt.

Officials are now saying this was a premature statement. However, KPERS is suffering from the same issues that other companies and individuals have experienced the past several months with a fluctuating stock market and the almighty dollar stretched about as far as it can be.

There are more people employed by government entities than private companies in this area and in a good part of the U.S. For some public entities to retain employees, typically paying less than their counterparts, a retirement fund is an important benefit. Without this benefit, some entities would be hard-pressed to keep quality workers.

This KPERS issue is another thorn in the sides of consumers and businesses. The question has to be asked, when is this going to end?

The good news is that some local businesses have called back to work some of their laid-off employees.

We’re actually making money on our IRAs.

Gas prices have stabilized — at least for now.

It is more important than ever for ALL of us to continue to support our local businesses.

We’re all guilty of shopping out-of-town. It’s entertainment. It’s a chance to get away for a few hours and think about something else. Depending on the time of year, it can be a sport.

But when it comes to purchasing everyday items (and not-so-everyday items like a car or furniture), having our vehicles serviced, repairing or improving our homes, purchasing insurance for our cars and homes, and buying gifts, we must continue to put money back in the communities of this county.

Imagine what would happen if each one of us purchased everything possible within our communities. Insurance, tires, food, fuel, carpeting, paint, and services.

If we can’t get it at home, let’s get it within the county.

If we can’t get it within the county, then we have no choice but to go elsewhere.

We take for granted that local stores will always be there. That’s a risky assumption because if we don’t support our local retailers and service businesses, they could be forced to call it quits.

We’ve seen it happen in smaller communities and those smaller communities have become even smaller because of it.

— susan berg

Last modified Oct. 1, 2009

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