Inflation Felt All Across the Yoop, the Search for Affordable Housing Solutions, and McBroom Declines January 6th Committee Testimony
This Week in Rural Insights
This week we will feature an article about charcoal kilns in the Upper Peninsula by Dr. Thomas Straka. Charcoal kilns are one of the most interesting treasures of rural UP history, and there are two prominent restored charcoal kilns in the UP. Watch for this article on Wednesday morning!
Each week we try to bring you informed brevity. You can find more extensive research and data in our articles listed under the various tabs on our website. We also have an “Opinion” tab where you will find Op Ed pieces by various authors from the Upper Peninsula and across America.
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Inflation Felt All Across the Yoop
We have heard from readers all across the Upper Peninsula about how inflation is impacting them and their families. Prices are up everywhere. Dozen eggs over $5, gasoline over $5 a gallon, the list goes on and on.
We heard from one reader that they paid $50 for a salmon filet in one restaurant. Inflation is hitting us all.
At the same time, Upper Peninsula communities are struggling with local government cost increases due to inflation. All of our communities have high snow removal costs, which just got more expensive with the cost of gasoline to fill up the tanks of those snow plows.
Local governments report struggling to make ends meet and continue to tighten their belts–and most report not having had a local millage increase in a long time. Many have dipped into reserve funds to make ends meet at alarming levels.
We all have come to expect our traditional UP local government services, but inflation is hitting that hard just like it is for families.
Affordable Housing in the Upper Peninsula
In our conversations with local government leaders, business and labor leaders and folks looking for a home in the Upper Peninsula, they tell us that they all see affordable housing as a big local problem.
Many UP communities have formed committees/commissions to examine the issue and find local solutions. From the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula to the western end it is tough to find affordable housing–both for first-time buyers and families looking to move into a new home for their growing families.
Now they are faced with rising mortgage interest rates. The problem is going to be around for a while. It will be interesting to see what solutions the citizens of the UP find for this problem in their local communities.
Local government leaders, both elected and appointed, are working diligently on this issue. More to come. Tell us what you are hearing and any ideas you have for solutions in your Upper Peninsula community.
Upper Peninsula Senator and the US Congress January 6th Committee
Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan, 38th District) reports that he refused to testify before this committee. This will be interesting to follow and see how it develops. The UP in the national news.
The World Around Us
Gasoline prices in the Upper Peninsula are following national trends. Often folks say it’s costing them more than $100 to fill their gasoline tank. Average prices in Michigan have reached $5.22 a gallon, up 18 cents in the last couple of weeks, up 87 cents from a month ago and over $2.05 a gallon more than a year ago.
All this from AAA of Michigan. Again, working families are feeling the pain of transportation costs which are an unavoidable part of daily rural life. Higher gas prices impact rural families more because they have to drive more miles than other areas to get to work, school, health care, etc.
The aging ruling class in our nation:
- President Biden is 79 and former President Trump is 76.
- Speaker Pelosi is 82; Senate Majority Leader Schumer is 71; Senate Minority Leader McConnell is 80.
- The average age of the US Senate is 64.3–the oldest in history. Seven US Senators are in their 80s.
Both national political party leaders in Congress are up there in age. Does it make any difference? Is it going to depress younger voter turnout in national elections? Is it just more political noise? Is it just agism?
Interestingly, in the Michigan governing class we see a different demographic at the state level. The Governor, Lt.Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State are all well below 60. Same with the leaders of the Michigan Legislature on both sides of the aisle. We see more young people being elected to local governments throughout the Upper Peninsula and across Michigan.
Tell us what you think.
For those of you who prefer to read our interviews via podcasts and videos we transcribe each and every one of them so you can read them. Just go to the end of the link for the podcast or video and you find the transcribed interview.
Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” Tolstoy.
“It turns out that when you challenge the reader, you enlist him as an important partner.” Writer A.B Yehoshua.
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