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How Idaho's Treasure Valley's vibrant economy disintegrated

Micron has laid off 4,000 workers since 2003 and plans to cut 2,000 more by August - and other layoffs have been occurring almost daily around the Treasure Valley. The Legislature faces deep cuts in education and other spending as tax revenues plummet. Home prices and sales remain in a deep slump. And the unemployment rate is approaching 7 percent.

How did the Valley get into this fix?

Q: Our economy has been a source of pride and a darling of the national media for years. How did we miss how vulnerable we really were?

A: The Valley's communities grew with companies like Hewlett-Packard and Micron Technology in the 1980s. The new jobs raised incomes. People bought houses. People moved in from other states.

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