Monday, February 22, 2010

Lies, damned lies, and economics

© 2010 Joshua Stark

The L.A. Times has a great article today on real information about California farming during the past couple of years. After the great hue and cry from folks that the delta smelt and salmon were killing our farming lifestyle, the numbers are in, and they show very few changes from the previous few years, and in many cases, we have bumper crops. And the biggest news: Employment fell by about .5% in ag.

In even the most harsh case presented by Central Valley business-as-usual advocates, poor Mendota, unemployment only rose 8% from 2003, from 32% to 40%, a 25% increase in the number of people actively looking, but unable to find work. Meanwhile, Sacramento's unemployment rose from 6.1% to 12.2%, a 100% increase.

Of course, I hear the question rolling off your lips right now: Mendota had 32% unemployment in 2003?!? Yep.

It makes you wonder why the West side of the Central Valley wants to keep the lifestyle it's got, and not look for new ways to get people working.

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