ill there be a winner in the presidential race by the end of the day? The end of the week?
And is anybody else worried about Donald Trump’s mental state if he is not successful? The middle of the night conspiracy theory- filled/factually-challenged speech he unleashed Tuesday night/Wednesday morning will be remembered for a long time, but not in the way we think of the Gettysburg Address, for instance. It was unhinged even by Trumpian standards. Entertaining but not the least bit presidential. Closer to cringeworthy. Closer to Dagmar Wood.
When even Trump’s pals like Chris Christie are calling him out for spewing nonsense, you know the moment went south for the president.
Hats off to Platte County voters for turning out in huge numbers for Tuesday’s election. I normally have little patience for standing in lines anywhere, but on Tuesday I was proud to survive an hour and five minute wait for a ballot at the Seven Bridges precinct south of Platte City.
My pre-game analysis that 10:45 a.m. would be a good time to head to the polls to avoid a crowd turned out to be not so wise. But in the middle what would become a 76-degree day, the wait wasn’t so bad. To see so many folks taking part in the process was actually inspiring.
Salute to the election workers manning all the polling sites, as well. Nicely done, folks.
Remember when Dagmar Wood, first district county commissioner, said the health department-ordered shutdowns in the early stages of the pandemic had driven a Mack truck through the local economy? To be precise, here was her exact quote:
“Effectively through the shutdowns, the health departments have run a Mack truck through the collective storefronts of our businesses and we need to get that truck out and that storefront fixed and get our economic engine back up and running again.”
Overly dramatic, for sure. I can see how she and Parkville Mayor Nan Johnston are buds. Not only is it overly dramatic, turns out it’s not close to being accurate.
Earlier this year before the pandemic, the county’s March sales tax revenue report had come in–yes, that’s prior to any health department-ordered shutdown. In March the county’s general sales tax collections were already down by six percent compared to the first quarter of last year. Yes, the revenues were down by six percent before any shutdowns taken by the health department. You know, the shutdown action that caused Wood and the other two commissioners to basically lose their minds and begin several months worth of games over federal CARES dollars.
The most recent county tax revenue numbers (a new report will be out in a day or two), which reveal economic activity through the month of August, detail that the county’s general sales tax collections are down nine percent through the same time last year. Remember, receipts were already down by six percent before the pandemic. So that “Mack truck” wasn’t nearly as damaging as dramatically presented as fact by your first district commissioner. The numbers show that at worst, the shutdowns in the interest of public health had only a negative three percent impact on sales tax revenues. And that’s if we take a doom and gloom approach. Looking at the bigger picture, the county is actually doing fine in the year of the pandemic as far as tax revenue. Due to a huge jump in use tax revenue–which is applied to online sales, as no doubt this year more Platte County residents are ordering items from the comfort and COVID-free safety of their homes–overall county sales/use tax revenues have a actually GROWN by 1.37% thus far in 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019.
You read that correctly. Overall, combined sales and use tax revenues are up, not down. So with two months worth of collections still to come in the year 2020, to this point there has been no Mack truck effect to the local economy.
Now before anyone gets their undershorts in a wad and starts pointing out specific businesses hurt by shutdowns, let me emphasize the above numbers represent an overall big picture of the county economy. Those numbers do not speak specifically about any particular business or section of the economy. Obviously there were individual stores, restaurants, and businesses negatively impacted by shutdowns. But it’s a county commissioner’s job to look at the overall economic financial picture of the county as a whole, and not get caught up in how the businesses and income streams of friends and family might have been impacted by the shutdown. (Oops, that last sentence might strike a nerve).
There are no guarantees in business. There are exceptions, of course, but I believe the vast majority of business owners understand and accept that as part of the risk/reward of being in business for ourselves.
No one is guaranteed to make a profit. Being in business is a never ending challenge of adapting to the conditions with which we are faced.
Let’s give a little credit here. Since her narrow re-election victory, Dagmar Wood has cooled her jets a bit in regard to conspiracy theories, spewing Fox News talking points, the rejecting of science, and nonsensical overstated observations. That’s not to say Dagmar does not still believe the conspiracy theories and also believes everything on those entertainment shows disguised as journalism on Fox News. My guess is she still strongly believes all those things. But she is getting a little smarter about tempering her outbursts of ridiculousness. It’s probably a stretch to say her narrow 52-48 percent victory in August over an unknown candidate who basically did not campaign humbled Dagmar Wood. My guess is she will get back to her normal over-the-top self once she thinks folks have forgotten about that election scare.