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Half Way There

Mark Trahant on the lousy economy…


Writing recently at the NewWest website, author and Fort Hall, Idaho resident Mark Trahant says the United States is halfway into a “lost decade” of economic growth. Trahant says:

“The late, great author Wallace Stegner wrote about the idea of a West populated by federal employees in Salt Lake City and Boise or any city where government agencies have regional offices. He once told historian Richard Etulain that states ‘get an awful lot in federal payrolls and an awful lot of jobs and homes and everything else from the federal government.’ The West, he said, should acknowledge the federal government is not only a ‘permanent partner in that collaboration, but a very essential one, absolutely essential.’”

“Yet as we in the reddest of red states demand federal contraction, we forgot how many of our neighbors actually work for the government. Of course government is already shrinking—and as that trend grows it will impact everyone because when those workers lose their jobs, they will not have money to spend as consumers. That’s essential in a consumer-driven economy such as ours. On top of that, state, cities, schools, and other governments are trimming jobs making the contraction that much deeper.”

Read Mark’s full piece at

(Editor’s note: Mark Trahant’s recent book is The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars: Henry M. Jackson, Forrest J. Gerard and the campaign for the self-determination of America’s Indian Tribes.)