It is not infrequently I am asked my opinion about the economy.  Understandably people are concerned and worried, especially those who tune into the nightly news and listen to all the gloom and doom.  And although my crystal ball sees no more than anyone else’s, here’s what I do know for sure (to “borrow” an expression from a famous media personality).

The economic outlook depends entirely upon our belief in each other.  Every day, we are bombarded by media about what Washington is doing and what our leading economists predict.  But our problems will never be solved by Washington, economists or the media.  While they talk about the mess, who caused the mess and how we can fix the mess, you and I, our friends and neighbors, are quietly, behind the scenes, cleaning up the mess.

Yet, we do not garner the attention of the nation.  And so we go about the business of rebuilding without any fanfare or recognition.  But somehow, we get it done. 

According to the Economic Development arm of the Chamber, between January and June 2011, Durham County added 639 new jobs. 

When the number of jobs in a community increases it creates a trickledown effect, known in economic circles as the multiplier effect.  This means that those 639 newly employed individuals will go out to eat more frequently, run to the salon to get a haircut, buy fresh flowers for their homes, purchase that new car they’ve needed and buy more than they have been at the grocery store.    

The effect is that those new jobs increased revenues for restaurants, salons, florists, car dealerships and grocers.  When those businesses see an upswing in sales they too will hire.  And so the cycle repeats itself over and over again.  Those 639  jobs turn into 800 or 1,000 and before long a community is well on its way to economic recovery.

So let the “talking heads” we see on TV talk.  But I for one don’t listen because I believe in my friends and neighbors, my co-workers and my community.  I know that no matter what the “experts” predict, we have no choice but to move forward.    And I believe we will.

-Jackie