During Tuesday’s Mason County Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon, which was held at the Point Pleasant River Museum and catered by The Captain’s Creamery, John Raese from West Virginia Radio Corp. served as the guest speaker and primarily discussed the economic crisis.
Raese is chairman of the board of West Virginia Radio Corp., which owns 15 radio stations as well as a 56 station network. He also is president and CEO of Greer Industries, Inc., which produces steel and limestone. In addition, Raese serves as vice president of the West Virginia Newspaper Publishing Company, which is a daily newspaper with a circulation of 30,000.
During his speech, Raese described the economic crisis as neither a Democrat nor Republican issue, and said that each party was at fault. He attributed capitalism as the reason why the United States was created and able to thrive for so long.
“The government didn’t make this country. Free enterprise — capitalism — made this country,” Raese said.
He added that the government’s involvement in capitalism has enabled the economy to slip.
“Anytime a government tries to micromanage an economy that is the death of capitalism. Capitalism requires a limit of government powers to maximize the freedom of an individual — capitalism cannot be interrupted,” Raese said.
He continued his speech by saying that the focus should be on getting people back to work. According to Raese, depreciation is not keeping up with inflation, which is why things such as airplanes, are very old because the economy cannot keep up with the replacement of equipment.
“There isn’t one facet in our economy today where we don’t have the government telling us what to do,” he said. “If we don’t get back and have representation on our currency, then we’re through.”
Raese closed by encouraging others to take a stand and become involved.
“The future is up to you. Vote with what is best for this country right now,” he said.
In addition to his other titles, Raese holds a board position at the Reeve Museum, a former family home that he helped restore in Dover, Ohio. The Greer Mansion in Morgantown also has been restored under Raese’s leadership and has been converted into the corporate offices for Greer Industries, Inc. Raese also is the chairman of the John L. Volk Foundation in Palm Beach, Fla., and under his direction the Volk Foundation has established a scholarship program to benefit aspiring architectural students.
In other business:
• The chamber is offering a free of charge, entry level social media training workshop on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Marshall Mid-Ohio Valley Center. The class will be from 9 a.m. to noon. If interested in taking the class, contact the chamber at (304) 675-1050.
The next chamber luncheon will be Tuesday, Oct. 13 at noon at the AEP Mountaineer Plant in New Haven. A buffet lunch is planned. The guest speaker and topic will be announced at a later date. RSVP’s for the upcoming lunch in must be called in no later than Friday, Oct. 9.