Thursday, May 14, 2009

While heading east on I-84 in Eastern Oregon,I stopped in La Grande Oregon to eat breakfast at 6:37 am in the morning at the local SmokeHouse Restaurant 2208 Adams St. 541 963-9692. I ordered the SMokeHouse Lite Breakfast ( 2 sausage, 2 bacon 2 eggs, 2 rye toast) Many other customers were eating breaksfast too. I asked about the local economy, and was told that Boise Cascade Lumber Mill was clsoing up. I had picked up a load of Lumber last August 2008 when they had a 7:00 am meeting discussing the shut down and layoff of the 2nd shift workers. At that time after getting a load of lumber on the Salem Express Truck #05 , an International 9200 model, and strapped down, I wrote a list of web addresses that I felt would be helpful, if I found myself out looking for a job
Helpful with his "Get out of Debt' 'Total Money Management' and 'Financial Peace University' programs. to create business cards to hand out for your side jobs (use OpenOffice Writer select New --> Business cards) and to also create and update your resume for searching for new jobs.

So now Boise Cascade is closing down to get rid of the union jobs and opening in Pilot Rock as non-union. Maybe some time in the future to come back to La Grande. What would you do if you had worked in the same job for the past 15-20 years at Boise Cascade. There is no other large industry in town. The RV manufacturer is closing down also because of the slumping RV sales.

Later we stopped at Vern's Elk Creek Enterprises Old Highway 30, 890 Elm Baker City, OR 97814
(541) 523-3439 to see if they had used chainsaws for sale. No used chain saws for sale, because May 1st the federal timber land was open for firewood cutting. With the slow economy, everybody and their brother was out cutting firewood. They had new chainsaws for sale, and lots of customers saws on the floor with tags finished being repaired waiting for pickup.
Vern mentioned that the saw mill in Baker City had be closed for a few years now, so the loggers were not buying new saw and selling their older used chainsaws. The environmentalists were also trying to shutdown the Cement Mill because of concerns for tiny amounts of mercury being released in the air from the mining of cement. Mercury is in the rocks being mined. The Cement Mill brings in over 9 million dollars a year into the local eastern Oregon economy. If it got shutdown, then where will the jobs come from? You tell me? Travel over to Eastern Oregon and spend some money to support the local economy. I watch as Oakridge Oregon 40 miles east of Eugene is dwindling down to Coffee Houses, Motels, and one restaurant since the local lumber mill closed up. Oakridge has an industrial development park for several years but no company has moved in to the industrial development park. It just stands empty! So I figure looking at Oakridge will be the model for what will happen in La Grande Oregon after Boise Cascade Lumber Mill closes down. The La Grande waitress mentioned that the mill workers after losing their jobs can get upto 26 weeks unemployment, but then after that time they would just have to pickup and move somewhere where there is a job.

Becasue of the Lumber slump, Wyerhauser Mill in Dallas Oregon closed down just recently too. I spoke with a couple men with grey hair just like me, at the Dallas Worksource Oregon office, whose jobs had just ended at Wyerhauser Dallas plant.

So you be careful and thoughtful of WHO YOU VOTE FOR, you might unintentionally VOTE yourself into unemployment. Realize this --> No company selects to open for business where they pay high taxes. It becomes a bad business choice! So be careful if you support a candidate for public office who supports higher business taxes. YOUR JOB COULD END when the company closes from a lack of profit! Yet the government will still ask the public to vote for higher taxes, for new programs, while you sit home without a job. Remember The people voted for ballot initiatives 66 and 67 here in Oregon, and are now watching the jobs leave Oregon or just go away from higher taxes.

Remember 66 and 67 institute a 10% Tax on Gross Revenue of the business, not the NET profit after expenses. Say you have a wholesale business that buys $100,000 dollars of products that you resale and distribute for a GROSS REVENUE of $120,000 dollars The tax from 66 & 67 will cost you 10% or $12,000 to send to the state of Oregon, Leaving you $8,000 of profit. Will you stay in business long? How do you modify your business methods to generate that lost profit you need to stay in business? Charge more for your product? Less customers will buy from you when you raise your prices, further deflating your profit, while the state of Oregon continues to TAX your "GROSS REVENUE" If you business survives on a razor thin margin of less than 10%, after paying 10% TAX to the state of Oregon, where is the profit and reason to stay in business. There is none! Time to close the doors or move your business out of state.