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Letter to the Editor: Local businesses can jump-start economic activity

Monday, July 29, 2002

To the editor:

I am writing as a business owner to address a growing concern for Missourians and Americans: the state of our economy. The recent dip in consumer confidence demonstrates that more and more Americans, Missourians included, have lost a measure of faith in corporate America and the financial institutions that form the backbone of this country. Fortunately, businesses across the nation, as well as Wall Street firms, are making great efforts to restore the faith of the American consumer. For example, the steps put in place by Merrill Lynch -- altering the compensation structure for stock analysts, instituting oversight committees to monitor the effectiveness of reforms, and more -- are all meant to benefit not only their specific customers, but to encourage timid investors to get back to business.

Though Wall Street is hundreds of miles away and may feel worlds away from our daily lives, reforms like those of Merrill Lynch can have a real effect here in Missouri. By working to jump-start the stock market and replenish confidence in corporate America, more reforms like these will help to bolster our local economy. By returning to spending in our local establishments, we can restore confidence in our economy. It is up to us, the leaders of smaller business throughout Missouri, to follow the precedent for reform set by Merrill Lynch, and in doing so, restore the health of our own communities.

PHILLIP A. ORSCHELN

Director

Orscheln Industries

Kansas City, Mo.