And, yes, I'm familiar with the term metonymy. I know that people sometimes use a specific word (like press) to mean something else (like news media). But, in this case, it is harmful. And, this week, when thousands of Olympians and Thurston County residents received layoff notices and our local economy is about to get cleaved, it is galling.
Facts gleaned from our county budget:
- Almost 25 percent of the jobs in Thurston County are state government jobs.
- And, those jobs are in particular, the high wage jobs in our community. The people with those jobs make up 34 percent of the wages in the county.
- Public employment since 2008 has dropped half a percent every year, meaning (despite increases in private employment) total employment has been flat across the county.
It is worth pointing out that the now shuttered blog Olympia Views (here, here and here) has written in a much broader way about the social and economic impact state government has on us here.
So, when you're writing about how the state government might shut down for a bit, and people in Olympia are going to be having lean times, please don't say it's Olympia's fault.