- Eye on Media
Another year of fun filled snarky news commentary and analysis is almost over and this December marks the second consecutive month that MGx has reached over 20,000 global visitors. Most visitors are from the US and 1% are classified as "addicts" and 35% as "regulars" by Quantcast. Almost 450 regulars are Oregon residents from Portland to Salem to Ashland to Brookings.
The advertising you see on MGx barely covers the cost of maintaining the website and its associated services and pays nothing towards the time and effort involved to research and report on important local issues. If each regular reader just contributed $6 this Christmas season it would pay 50% of the emergency room medical bills for my fifteen year-old daughter this year.
This season please show your appreciation and help keep MGx a voice for fine local writers like, Roy Keene, Wim de Vriend, Ron Sadler and Robert Fischer and many others. Please donate to MGx today.
"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens." Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013
The “evangelical cargo cultists” whose 19th century industrial ideology has so long dominated the county’s approach to economic development and consequently suppressed healthy and sustainable alternatives may finally be losing their iron grip on the local paper. The World has penned an editorial that acknowledges the geographic limitations that will forever prevent Coos County from being a major cargo handler, that we embrace our not so splendid isolation and start thinking like islanders. The paper will explain in Thursday’s paper but I am cautiously optimistic that the editors may actually start talking about some of the many decentralized and localized alternatives to industrial resource extraction that are being developed around the country and around the world.
We could start right here by focusing upon essential goods and services people need everyday, food, clean water, shelter and energy. For example, poverty stricken Appalachia is developing a local food based economy hundreds of communities have found that producing energy locally reinvests dollars that normally would be exported out of the area in the form of profit to foreign shareholders right back into local jobs and services. Simple things like avoiding big box stores and encouraging the public to buy local can be successful as demonstrated in Bellingham, Washington.
Stop eating at fast food franchises and support local restaurants or buy from local farmers and eat in. Companies that make profits off the backs of minimum wage employees cost the taxpayer billions annually in public assistance. McDonald’s earned $5.46 billion in profits last year, paid its CEO $13.4 million and the taxpayers footed a tab of $1.4 billion to provide public assistance to the employees that made these profits possible. If McDonald’s paid its workers $15 an hour the price of a Big Mac would rise by less than a nickel and the employees would be able to shop and contribute to the local economy.
There are so many things that might benefit the area if we step outside the constraints set by the local economic development agencies and avoid the one-size-fits-all approach to business. Perhaps this editorial will stimulate or facilitate the discussions we need to have to design a system the suits our unique regional dynamics and moves us into the future.
Below is a unique concept to be voted upon in the next Swiss elections.