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Home arrow Opinion arrow Letters arrow LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Monday, June 9




Nelson: Youth employment and self-serve fuel

To the Editor: 

A few issues back, there was an article about youth employment in our communities. It has always been a challenge for young people to find work, especially in an age of restrictions on what they can and cannot do in the workplace. 

This week, The Observer is running a survey concerning self-serve gas and would we want it. I, for one, have never had a problem with self-serve, but I wonder how many jobs that employ youth in the fuel industry would be lost so that we might save a few moments getting fuel? 

Several of our station owners are very community minded, but I honestly cannot believe these owners will pass the labor savings on to us in the form of reduced fuel cost. We should ask ourselves, “Is it really worth the change?” 

Surveys are nice, but they usually just get impulsive answers. Rarely do they ask us to really ponder the consequences of the action. 

Bob Nelson


McSperitt: Cuts have economic effects on Union County

To the Editor:

As most of Union County is now aware, Eastern Oregon University has been faced with a hefty budget cut in an attempt to keep the university above the red line. While EOU has been working diligently to ensure that the students are affected as little as possible in this process, it goes without saying that Union County will feel somewhat of a ripple effect due to the cuts.

Eastern Oregon University has stated that the budget cuts will be to the tune of $4 million. While most without any background in economics would take this information at face value, let’s dive a little deeper and see what this EOU budget cut of $4 million really means to Union County. Using an economic formula called the multiplier, we will find out what carry-through effects happen as spending is decreased in one of the biggest income producers in Union County. The multiplier utilizes the tax rate of 27 percent and the Marginal Propensity to Consume of .95. As a side note, the MPC is the rate that consumption increases or decreases when income increases or decreases. Using these components, the resulting multiplier is 3.26. In order to find the effect of the cuts on Union County we multiply the multiplier by $4 million to find the total effect of just over $13 million. This represents a decrease of 8.92 percent in total income and a decrease of 1.48 percent per capita income or $504.98 in income per person in Union County. 

Clearly, we must consider the ripple effect of these changes in our surrounding area, as well as those potential changes the businesses and individuals will face. 

Eastern Oregon University is a big part of our county, and we will all be going through this together. I am sure we can agree that these cuts are well worth seeing our beloved university flourish in the future. 

Sarah McSperitt

Eastern Oregon University

Botteron: Effect of EOU cuts on Union County income

To the Editor:

If you’re like me you can agree that $4 million is a lot of money, which is the amount of money the state has cut the Eastern Oregon University budget. This is a huge hit to the school but what is worse is what the $4 million in cuts is going to do to the economy of La Grande and Union County.

What we are looking at is $4 million worth of administrators, professors, advisers, secretaries, maintenance staff, and the list goes on. These people will lose their jobs and their incomes. It is not only those incomes that will be lost but the amount of money those people spend on everyday things like their rent or mortgage and groceries. Economists call the proportion of your income you spend the marginal propensity to consume or MPC. In Union County let’s say the MPC is around 90 percent of your disposable income.

After taxes, $4 million equates to $2,920,000, and after you factor in the MPC, the amount that will be spent in the community is $2,628,000. Economists call the $2,628,000 a second round of expenditure, and will become wages and (after taxes) those wages will pay become additional spending. The spending will continue until the amount available to spend is less than a penny. This cycle is called the multiplier process.

When you take into account the multiplier process, you can see the $4 million worth of cuts is going to have a big impact on La Grande and Union County. After it is all said and done the total damage to La Grande and the surrounding area will be approximately $11,764,705.88 or 1.3 percent of the total income for Union County. This equates to roughly $456.72 per person. If the MPC is 95 percent, then the total damage is about $12,903,225. These figures are close to the damage caused by small tornadoes, but unfortunately FEMA will not be there to help.

Anthony Botteron

Eastern Oregon University

Skovlin: County Campus has room for both buildings

To the Editor:

 To become more informed on this issue of the Shelter From the Storm and the proposed Circuit Court facility, I drove to the site of the problem on what is called the “County Campus.” It appeared to me there was ample room right there for both buildings.

 When I visited the county planning department to ask questions about this, I got an explanation which boiled down to both buildings couldn’t be there because there would not be enough room for all the required parking spaces. I have to wonder if that is a good enough reason to tear down the shelter building and replace it with another building. I believe somewhere within our community there are people creative enough to come up with a satisfactory solution to this parking problem.

To learn more about this, go to www.union-county.org and read the minutes of the March 5 commissioner’s meeting.

If you are curious enough to go to the site that sits between the jail, the Catholic Church and the county commissioner’s offices, take a look at the shelter. It looks like the county which owns the building is neglecting its maintenance.

Donna Skovlin



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