We're losing jobs in Maine right now, while other parts of the country are beginning to recover from the recession. Many of these job losses are coming from the public sector. I believe that government should be the employer of last resort -- that job growth in the private sector is best. State employees are not to blame for our fiscal problems. They pay taxes and spend money, they contribute to our economy. With unemployment as high as it is now, this is not the time for hasty and ill conceived layoffs of our hard working friends and neighbors. We should assess employment in state government during better economic times. Then if it makes sense to downsize, those employees can find new work. Adding to the unemployment rolls isn't fiscally responsible, it just shifts our expenses from one balance sheet to another and causes hardship on hard-working people and their families.
In the private sector, there are a couple ways to create jobs. One is the responsibility of every Maine resident, and that is to buy goods at local small businesses rather than big box stores. When you buy something from a small business owner, they keep most of that money in-state through their payroll and through their supply chain. If you buy something at a big box store, much of that money goes out of Maine. I am a strong supporter of the Buy Local movement. The second way to address this issue is through regulation. Many of our state's regulations are designed to help large corporations at the expense of local businesses. This method of one-size-fits-all regulation works when you have the resources to navigate the fine print, but not when you're a small business owner. We need to change our regulations to make sense for everyone, big and small.