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October 30, 2009


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Land has long been the path to the quickest score in Arizona. Back in the 50s, land fraud was pandemic. Over the years, regulations tightened but the idea never went away: capitalism at its purest is flipping parcels. It's also capitalism at its most decadent, self-cannibalizing stage.

While it lip-syncs the free-market pieties of faux rugged individualists, it's really a parasite on the productive economy. But, as we've seen, that economy required such horrors as planning, public-private partnerships, congressional earmarks, and a business class in tune with reality. Long before Phoenix settled for its marginal status as a branch-office backwater, this business class guided the growth here. Then it dissipated. Some of it was consumed by bigger national entities. Some of it vanished into Scottsdale Airpark. The rest got religion, tithing its campaign contributions to the church of Ayn Rand.

We got lazy here because the growth required no investment. The people who mattered got rich and that was all that mattered. Now, it may be over although the truest of believers know otherwise. This is a state crashing on cheap crack and too inebriated to take its own inventory.

Arizona's New Man is someone like Jeff Flake. His career is based on a postmodern politics of ideological coolness. He's an entrepreneur of his own image. There's nothing really to do except sell his well-tended self. Likewise, Arizona sells itself. Who knows? Maybe there's a reality-TV show that will make us all rich.

Boeing does not own MD Helicopters anymore (and the MD is not an abbreviation for anything anymore). Boeing sucked it dry then sold to a Dutch company that couldn't turn it around, who then sold it to Patriarch Partners (Lynn Tilton). She hopes to re-invigorate US manufacturing and MD Helicopters Inc. is the jewel in her crown of 70+ companies. They clocked good sales last year but the downturn of course has put expansion on the backburner.

MDHI has a great product line, but still is recovering (customer support wise) from the Boeing years. At the end of this recession, it should pop out stronger. This is in stark contrast to Honeywell Aerospace which is shipping jobs and equipment to Mexico. The old AiResearch/Garrett will just be a memory soon.

Support for Honeywell capital projects (including the location of U.S. defense department assets) is now conducted in

Use the Force, Luke.

(Sorry -- very lame, I know.)

Lame, but it made me smile Emil. Thank you.

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