Yesterday after watching the Courant's Editorial Board interview both Mayoral candidates, both Tom Condon and Peter Pach asked Bronin and Segarra how they would grow and retain jobs in Hartford. Good questions. Aside from crime,lack of jobs are one of Hartford's number biggest problems.
Well, the irony of how things work out. My mother received her renewal bill on Tuesday for her Courant subscription . As a senior citizen, $229.12 every six months was too much for her budget to receive a newspaper. She also gets the Journal Inquirer every afternoon , and the JI is more of a "local paper" for her. It gives her much more of the Windsor Locks/Suffield/Enfield news that she is looking for.
I called the 860-525-2525 number on the bill trying to get a better price or see if they offered a senior discount. After going through automated attendant hell, press one for this, press two for that, I finally got a live person. Communication was difficult because of the operators accent, but we stumbled through. In the end they offered a discount of about $4.00 off every six months.
At the end of the conversation I asked the operator if she was in Hartford. "Oh no, I am in the Philippine's" was her response.
Now I understand business. I know that offshore labor is much cheaper than paying US residents. The benefits are probably non existent as well as the taxes saved by not hiring local. But that is not how you "create and retain jobs" by going to the Philippine's. It would probably only be a handful of jobs to staff a call center in Hartford, but every little bit counts.
I also fully understand this is not a decision being made on Broad Street. In today's corporate world it is all about money and the bottom line, not about American citizens making a decent living and surviving. It s time we start thinking about putting the pressure on US Corporations to support the communities that support them.