Volume 46, Number 2, Summer  2008

Cutting the Cord

Households dropping land-lines for cell phones


Jenny Donohue and John Baldridge

Nationwide, consumers are increasingly relying on wireless service as their primary phones, some even eliminating land-line service all together. Montana's land-line telephone service providers are losing active lines at an annual rate of 2 to 7 percent while Montana's largest wireless provider, Verizon, reported wireless phone usage up an average of 32 percent in 2006. However, the appeal for land-lines remains strong among 45-65 year olds and the social norms for cell phones have not fully been developed.

Montana Economy Still Strong Despite National Economic Downturn


Paul E. Polzin

Compared to other states, Montana has not been hit very hard by the national economic slowdown. Montanans have experienced the bursting of the house price bubble and mortgage foreclosures, but not nearly to the extent of other states. Overall, the downturn in the national economy is not likely to have significant impacts on Montana because the U.S. industries hit hardest by recession are not major players in Montana's economy.

Economic Returns for Investing in Children's Health


Steve Seninger

Montana's uninsured rate for children is one of the highest in the country. Children without regular health care are at a developmental, social, and educational disadvantage. Insuring more Montana children offers a positive economic payback of more than $2.50 to Montanans for every state $1 expanded, a rate of return that complements other positive impacts of more health investments in the state's children.

Reclaiming American Indian Maternal and Infant Health


Thale Dillon, Christine Rinki, and Jennifer Giroux

American Indian infants in the Rocky Mountains and on the Northern Plains die more frequently than white infants in the region, making infant death one of the major health problems facing tribes and urban Indians in the area. Health statistics are readily available in practically every area for whites in the region but are lacking within the American Indian community. Without this data, existing disparities cannot be addressed.

Eco-Entrepreneur Tests Fuel-Saving Products


Amy Joyner

Along with the rest of the nation, Montana faces major energy challenges. Paul Deneault, vice president and co-owner of Big Sky Enviroproducts, has a few ideas that might help lessen the negative environmental impact of burning fossil fuels. Deneault will operate a Missoula-based distribution business with three areas of focus: clean burning propane lawn mowers, a fuel-saving gasoline and diesel reformulator and a lubricant that makes engines run more efficiently.