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Colorado Springs' economy has lagged behind that of other cities, and it's not gone unnoticed by outside experts or current residents.

click to enlarge John Hartung

John Hartung of the west side is a psychologist.

Over the past 10 or 15 years, do you feel the local economy has gotten better or worse? Somewhat worse, in my view. The infrastructure is failing while people talk about artificially pumping up the tourist economy.

Do you know people who are having trouble finding good jobs here? Yes. In my community of psychotherapists, many full-time mental health practitioners struggle to make a living because of insurance inefficiencies.

What's one thing you would change in our local economy if you had the power? Get rid of the "mythology of growth" that says if a city isn't growing, it's dying. That's not true. The government should fix the roads, fix the infrastructure, provide education without the profit motive, and then leave people alone.

click to enlarge Bri Martinez

Bri Martinez of the northeast side is a student and administrative assistant.

Over the past 10 or 15 years, do you think our local economy has gotten better or worse? It's gone both ways. I grew up here, and it grew exponentially for a while, then it went down, and recently it's taken an upturn.

Do you know people who are having trouble finding jobs here? Yes, my father. He was out of work for almost two years, but he's a disabled vet so he got to go back to school.

How do you think the local media covers the economy? I feel like the newspapers cover it better than the TV news; sometimes their stories are just for entertainment.

What's one thing you would do for our local economy if you had the power? Create more jobs. I know a lot of people who are unemployed.

click to enlarge Ed Whipple

Ed Whipple of the south side is an integrated circuit designer.

Economically, how healthy do you feel Colorado Springs is? If I were to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I'd say it's about a 6. There are a lot of individuals who are underemployed here. Also a lot of indigent people, but I think some of them are by choice.

Over the past 10 or 15 years, do you feel it's gotten better or worse? It's gotten worse since I moved here 14 years ago. We used to have Intel and Atmel, and there were hopes that this might be the next Silicon Valley. I worked at one of the semi-conductor companies for almost 13 years, then got laid off.

How well do you think the local media covers the economy? I have a personal philosophy: If the media is not covering good news, then I don't want to read about it or hear about it.

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