By Michelle Hutchison
At the annual Rotary Economic Forecast meeting this week, thunder and lightning were used as metaphors for the economic conditions in our country. Ken McMillan, Professor of Political Economy and Commerce at Monmouth College, compared thunder and lightning with the economy; no one knows what could come next. So what in our economy created this weather mixture? The slow response to the recession, lasting effects from September 11, 2001, the unrest currently happening in countries such as Egypt and Iran, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and Japanese beetles were all small pieces to the puzzle that make up our current economy.
McMillan, who has spoken at this event before, also discussed how we as a country and Illinois as a state needs to learn something from Greece “Right now, we have more people in the cart than we have horses to pull” a position Greece knows all too much about.
McMillan said it is still unknown if and when we will have an upturn in our economy. However, he claimed that some numbers will probably be up before November given that we are in an election year. “Blame both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue” McMillan argued but also added that the common citizen’s limited knowledge of political workings added a “wild card” into the mix that has created our country’s current economic state. Citizens also need become aware that inflation is occurring all around us, McMillan warned to be observant the next time you walk down the aisles of County Market here in town and be conscious of the rising prices of staples such as coffee and eggs.
The Economic Forecast meetings, which have been an annual feature of the Rotary’s calendar for over 10 years now, have been organized by Rotarians Mr. Whiteman and Mr. Chapin since the meeting’s start.
About 40 Rotarians and three guests were in attendance for the meeting held at the Monmouth Country Club at noon on Monday February 20th. Rotarians congratulated Monmouth College’s win over Knox the previous weekend in athletics and recognition of the Monmouth College Courier staff for a multitude of awards they received at the Illinois Press Association convention held in Chicago. They also welcomed Jeff Whitsitt, superintended for the United School District, as a new member of Rotary.