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June 14, 2012


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Dear Jon, The kooks that you refer to have no interest in achieving the things that you describe in this article. The lord is coming and the planets “saved” exodus will be led by our newly elected leader, Elder Romney.

Predictions: try this on.


I thought he was a bishop, or bishop-emeritus?

"Phoenix is running out of time."

Wrong tense.

Tend to agree with Shrieking cloud. As I drive around the state it appears empty. Miles and miles of lifeless buildings and asphalt parking lots covering the Sonoran desert.

I wonder what Joseph Smith would think of Romneys Calvinism? You can tell who is going to heaven based on the accumulation of wealth.

Lets also acknowledge that the immigration wave destabilized neighborhoods and schools, while our White Right power structure conjured up laws and more subtle forms of disapproval that drove many Latinos underground.

This has given rise to what Jon aptly refers to as a "permanent underclass" structure. There are two longtime inner city teachers in the family and they have a real world understanding of the plusses and minuses . . . the noble aspirations, the enduring heartache as well as the sloth and dysfunction.

Wiser folks than me will ultimately conclude whether this is a net plus or minus, but it seems to constitute yet another long term burden.

'a 'permanent underclass' structure".

The aspirations of helots must be supressed.

... just like a second 'p'.

It's really weird to be part of the working rich while at the same time being able to see the suffering of the non-working poor.

Two totally separate worlds.

One group frets about where to spend all their money. The other group worries about where they will be living next month.

One group goes to lunch and has their nails and toe-nails done for $150. The other group asks to borrow $20 for food.

This is so freakng weird.

Like I've said before, "I've been rich and I've been poor". Rich is better.

I think we're living in the Twilight Zone.

Googling Helot revolts speaks to today


Google harlots, better image results.

Helot harlot.

Where is Mick?

Mick must've found a job.

Mick got a job as a pharmacist for Chapo? Great pay with benefits!

And Phoenix Sun Fan moved to Seattle?

I hope Emil hasn't deserted us.

For Phoenix Sun Fan's sake I hope so. It's for his own good and the Phoenix illusion usually ends in despair and bitterness.

Mick must be less than thrilled with Obama's executive order on undocumented people. Obama should have ignored the Republicans three years ago and today would be a better world for all. Bravo!

If I were an illegal eligible for this program I would stay in the shadows for the time being.

Listening to Brewers comments,on the dream act thing I know she has some fairly smart people she can reach out to for preparing comment but it sounds like she is writing her own stuff. And then the news folks turned Pearce loose ranting like the ranter he is. Hell he made Arpaio sound rational.

I do agree with Republican comments that "it is going to make it more difficult to reform immigration" but translated that means if Romney makes president it's really going to make it difficult for the Republicans. They might have a riot they will have to put down. Not much changes. Wont be the first time we loaded Mexicans onto box cars (didn't the germans do that) and shipped them off to interment camps

"Phoenix is running out of time. " And so is Arizona. Soon it will be a privately owned amusement park filled with giant tailing piles from open pit mining. Only the Indians and "Baja Arizona" hold out hope for Arizona.

The Roosevelt neighborhood looks like it has signs of real life for downtown Phoenix. But as far as the main point,yes, there are say, a dozen cities that have a critical mass of well-educated folks. For all its quirkiness, Seattle is one of them! Other cities are stuck defining themselves around some form of service economy. Phoenix needs to think Research Dollars- Lots of them! Or else it's a future of yougurt stands and hamburger joints!

My wake-up call on immigration came 10 years ago at a McCain Town Hall in Sun Lakes where he talked about common sense measures like "an earned path to citizenship". Whereupon the Midwest transplants began to literally foam at the mouth about AMNESTY. I'd never seen respectable-looking adults behave that way. Now, the immigration face of AZ consists of three individuals (Brewer, Arpaio, Pearce) who are neither attractive nor articulate. Poor us!

My wake-up call on immigration came 2 years ago when I suggested to a room full of liberals that since Obama can't stimulate the economy again because of right wing obstruction he could still do something:

He should demand that Congress delegate the money to create 40,000 border security jobs paying $35,000 a year. "Let the Republicans say no to that," I said. The liberals in the room weren't having any of that. "We don't need any more border control folks." To which I said: "You are wrong on at least one sure thing: It is the ONLY way to create 40,000 middle class jobs in a hurry. Whether or not it is needed is irrelevant."

We are in the middle of the worst Oligarchical obstruction since the Genteel South wanted to shut everything down so they could keep their slaves (and screw the best looking quadroons on the side for free), and that means you got to take what the New Republican South dares to give you.

Or force them to look silly saying no...

When life gives you pricks to play with, you've got to figure out a way to win at hardball. I did. The democrats haven't yet...

We had a nice gathering of the JT Fan club. We all agreed over a cup of vegan coffee that our next gathering would not take place until the end of global warming, sometime in October.

According to the Urban Institute, from the end of the recession (June, 2009) through March 2012, the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metropolitan area ranks 21st out of the top 100 metros in its percentage of private sector payroll jobs added; the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area ranks 51st; Austin ranks 2nd.


More recently, from March 2011 through March 2012, Phoenix ranks 16th of 100 in percentage change in nonfarm jobs (including public and private sector jobs, here), right behind Seattle at 15th place; and Austin ranks 11th.


This includes places like Provo, Utah and Stockton, California, which had less than 200,000 nonfarm jobs as of March 2012. If you were to exclude cities with less than 1,000,000 jobs or exclude cities with less than 2,000,000 population (the latter being a favorite Robert Robb trick) then big cities like Phoenix move higher. (Of course, that would exclude places like Austin, San Jose, and Salt Lake City, among others.)

This is through March and it's now mid-June, so we're missing a couple months of data. Still, it seems to me that 21st of 100 since the recession, and 16th of 100 in the "last year" (through March) is pretty good and Phoenix is scarcely a basket case.

That does not at all address the quality of the jobs added, of course.

As for the exurban beastie, it may be moribund but it isn't dead yet.

Last month the company that owns St. Joseph's announced plans to build a new hospital and medical campus on a 35 acre site at Loop 101 and Glendale Avenue.


My theory is that the health care industry, which accounts for the lion's share of job growth in the metro Phoenix area since the recession, is still catching up with the big, pre-recession immigration wave; also, of course, huge numbers of individuals who lost jobs and homes in the recession were suddenly eligible for the state's Medicaid program (AHCCS), including many who may not have had (or chose not to purchase) private health insurance, or else had high deductible plans and were for the first time able to get care without worrying about large co-pays and deductibles. Enrollment in AHCCS has since been frozen for childless adults and many others, but the rolls were swollen by hundreds of thousands before that.

Incidentally, if health care does account for the lion's share of job growth in Phoenix since the recession, that does say something about the quality of job growth, at least to the extent that the sector is involved.

Near the new hospital and medical campus on the west side, a new 85 store mall was recently announced, Tanger Outlet Center Westgate. Freeway access and nearby sports stadiums, as well as fast-moving project approval, were cited by the company. In the same article, Barry Broome of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council noted the advantage of large amounts of available space: "If somebody is looking for 100 to 200 acres, the West Valley is the only place". (The Tanger site is only 38 acres but city planners are betting on Loop 303 expansion to bring business opportunities their way.)


Incidentally, there was a Q and A with Broome in the Arizona Republic recently, and according to his figures, defense contracts account for "$15 billion in economic activity" in Arizona which doesn't sound unreasonable since Arizona was awarded about $11.8 billion in defense contracts in 2011. Since Arizona's GDP in 2011 was $258 billion, his "$15 billion in economic activity" accounted for 5.8 percent of state GDP last year. Broome noted that "the Greater Phoenix region" received $7.1 billion in defense contracts in 2011 but erred in attributing the "nearly six percent of the state's economy" to this rather than to statewide defense contract activity.


Six percent of state GDP won't make or break the state but it's significant and I understand why some politicians are trying to hang on to a well-established, high-paying sector through federal lobbying, even if defense contract work is taxpayer funded, bloated and largely parasitical.

Thanks for the painstaking research Emil! Your good work is appreciated.

Pardon my cynicism here, but mentioning Barry Broome brings to mind a latter day Damon Runyon-like character in a shiny suit, pearly teeth and high-gloss shoes. No substance.

And when you note that "even if defense contract work is taxpayer funded, bloated and largely parasitical", I translate the last word to "paradoxical" because we want to fund our redundant defense techno-baubles while we're largely ignoring the poverty among us.

Afghanistan is estimated to cost us $900 BILLION. Think of how much good just a sliver of that could have done to feed the hungry kids in our country!

Thanks for the vegan conversation, Rebel.

moreclean air said and I agree,

"Afghanistan is estimated to cost us $900 BILLION. Think of how much good just a sliver of that could have done to feed the hungry kids in our country!"

plus almost that much to have an election for president. It's obscene!

Barry Broomes adticle was a poorly disguised endorsement for Will Cardon. I am surprised Broome is next to Stanton.

I am an avid reader of this blog. I am also running for the AZ House in the new 19, which is Avondale, Tolleson and SW PHX. I'd love to sit in on your next vegan coffee jam. I'd like to hear some of your ideas. Email me at lorenzo@losierra.com.

U can count in it Lorenzo

Off subject: A progressive on why Obama must go:


I would add to what Professor Unger says:

I am at the point where I have tried to bring reason to the minds of those who want all taxes removed, all government removed, yet they still want all their government benefits to continue. I was never able to convince them that the math doesn't work.

So now, I say, bring it on. Let Romney win the Presidency, let The repubs win the Senate. Let them control all three branches of the government.

Let the party begin.

You dumb, lazy bastards, who are the middle class, the silent majority, the vast group of Independent non-voters.

Let's see you get what you deserve.

If this is what it takes to get into that thick skull of yours, so be it.

Reason means nothing to you. I hope your iPod and iPad and iPhone are edible.

When the shit hits the fan, be sure and call all those billionaires, those "job creators" who you so dearly worship. I'm sure they'll jump right up and come to your rescue.

Good luck with that.

Take a deep breathe Rebel.
Forgot to tell U
thanks for the non vegan scone.

PS Try a book called Moral Minority (our skeptical founding fathers) by Brooke Allen.

I'll try cal, but that vegan coffee still has me pumped up.

Sorry about the bacon bits in the scone. I thought they were cranberries.

I fear that this bit is dispositive:

That light at the end of the tunnel is climate change

A century from now, with the aquifers pumped out and the ridiculously oversubscribed Colorado sucked dry by the competing demands of the entire watershed, Phoenix will comprise at most a hundred thousand residents. If our species actually deserved the sobriquet Homo sapiens, the city would never have been larger than that.

Yes, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were tremendously expensive and unnecessary. Theoretically, though, you can distinguish between foreign wars of intervention and local defense contract work. Lobbying the federal government is one thing that state and local politicians know how to do and it's easy and politically risk free.

Of course, even Broome (citing a study he didn't identify) noted that potential defense cuts could take $3 billion out of Arizona's economy next year, and the economy was $258 billion last year, so that's a little more than 1 percent of state GDP, not the 6 percent that contract work as a whole accounts for; and even that 1 percent estimate is likely an exaggeration by an industry group with a vested interest in keeping the gravy train rolling.

The Defense Department budget can and should be cut. Big time. But I wouldn't expect local politicians to do less than try to keep funding, and I'm not particularly offended by that.

What annoys the hell out of me is the fact that (in the words of David Schapira) state Republicans pushed through another tax cut for special interests costing $440 million on top of $550 million given away last year. That's a billion dollars in state-level tax cuts at a time when revenues are weak and may remain so for some time, the temporary 1 cent tax is due to expire soon, health care for the poor has been cut and enrollment frozen (the stated purpose of the latter being to accomplish further stealth cuts through attrition as individuals fall off the rolls and are subsequently unable to re-enroll), and school budgets have been cut to the extent of being unable to perform basic physical maintenance of facilities.

Even Robert Robb called the timing of this "unseemly", for which he was subsequently viciously attacked in a letter to the editor from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

One underlying point of my earlier remarks is that, even if Phoenix's job growth since the recession (and more recently) is fairly good compared to most other large metropolitan areas, and even if the lion's share of these jobs have been in health care, what happens when the health care industry catches up with the phenomenal pre-recession population growth in Phoenix? AHCCS freezes mean that Medicaid can't come to the rescue, as it did during and after the recession, and population growth has been static since the recession.

If Phoenix doesn't return to a population growth model (a big "if", but let's postulate it), then the only way for real economic growth to occur at that point will be to produce more (or more valuable) goods and services with the same number of residents.

Does this mean that the labor force will be static also? Not necessarily. The labor force is determined in part by demographic shifts. According to 2010 Census data, about 41 percent of Phoenix residents are Hispanic. Hispanics have a younger demographic (more school-age children), which is probably one reason why the median age of Phoenix residents is 32 whereas in the United States at large it's 37.


P.S. If you look at the "Population by Races" data at the link I gave, you may notice that the percentages add up to well over 100.

Don't forget that "Hispanic" is actually an ethnicity, not a race, and Hispanics may classify themselves as White or as non-White. The Mexican population is largely a combination of Spanish (White) and Amerindian (non-White). Most are a mixture of the two, and social prejudice (in Mexico as well as in the United States) encourages individuals to define themselves as "White". (Take a look at those free Mexican television magazines outside Food City or elsewhere, if you don't believe me about social bias within Mexico.) Sorry if this is blisteringly obvious.

Joel Hanes got it right!!!!

Truth from my friend, Bill Harris:


And, of course, nobody wants to listen. Much less act.

It is an interesting article, Rogue.

However, if you read all the comments which follow, you realize what a lost cause Arizona has become.

AND all these comments come from the part of the populace who are engaged in the debate. The other 80% of the population could give a rats ass about anything.

Apathy. The black hole that is swallowing Arizona.

Dear Jon, A few eons have first passed since you and I first discovered we were both living in the great Sonoran desert (what’s left of it). Since, we both have moved slightly on our original opinions. High rise versus Saguaro.
I earlier read the piece in which Harris commented in the Repulsive.
I don’t disagree with his take “Arizona is destined for Third World status without better leadership and education, a group of state business and political leaders was warned last week.
But the following I find obscene, “A May 2008 report by the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University saw a future Arizona dominated by a "megapolitan" region stretching from Nogales to Prescott, home to 8 million of the state's projected 10 million people in 2035.”
I borrow from Joel Hanes post “Phoenix will comprise at most a hundred thousand residents. If our species actually deserved the sobriquet Homo sapiens, the city would never have been larger than that.”
Arizonan’s population should be capped at seven million and a plan should be made to shrink it to two million at the most. Screw the developers and destroyers of the planet earth. Leave my desert alone!


Do you remember the story from about forty years ago, when a couple of guys were out in the desert shooting. They came up with the bright idea of shooting up a sahuaro cactus, in the process the sahuaro fell over and killed one of the guys.

In the end, the desert always wins.

If you're a Wall Street gambler, short humanity.

They sell that book at the Botonical garden in Phoenix.
which is still a good place to see the sun rise over the great Sonoran Desert (whats left of it)

"exurban beasties"?
Another name for sun city occupiers?

There was social bias in Mexico before the pillaging religious whacko Spaniards came. It just got worse
plus they brought all those illegal domesticated animals and filthy diseases.

Cal, I would love to go back to a state with 1 million residents.

When we see the words "megapolitan" and "Sun Corridor" used in a sentence, this is a sign that the growthmeisters are seeking to re-package the old grim reaper machine. If the name "Grady Gammage" also appears, it lends further proof that the scam-a-rama is not dead yet. Sort of like Lord Valdemort in Harry Potter!


When the Conquistadors arrived, the upper class in what is now Mexico were eating the lower class, literally.

Talk about population control.

When the Aztecs used to go on expeditions to conquer neighboring tribes they used to carry roasted babies for snacks along the trail.

I bet you $10 they didn't have vegan scones on those hikes!!??!!??

"It was a dark and sunny place..."

Thx reb i know the history
i dated an Aztec in the 50s.

She was a bracera from Mexico and worked at the Gruber underwear factory on Grand Avenue

Incidentally, I used the Job Growth USA database (W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU) to investigate details of metro Phoenix's recent jobs growth.

For all comparisons, I used a "12 month moving average" from May 2011 through May 2012. This is intended to even out monthly fluctuations that might bias for or against a particular sector. Note that not all metro areas report all stats, so note that the number of metro areas reporting may change from stat to stat.

Since we're interested in Phoenix's private sector growth, I used that as the base. During the base period, Phoenix added a total of 33,130 private jobs.

Here are the major private subsectors, listed in order of contribution:

Heath Care and Social Assistance: 7,820 jobs added sector; 23.6% of total private jobs added

Leisure and Hospitality: 5,470 jobs added; 16.5% of total private jobs added

Trade (mostly retail trade): 5,090 jobs added; 15.36 of total private jobs added

Professional and Business Services: 4,080 jobs added; 12.3% of total private jobs added

Construction and mining: 3,030 jobs added; 9.1% of total private jobs added

Finance and Insurance: 2,510 jobs added; 7.6% of total private jobs added

Private Educational Services: 1,500 jobs added; 4.5% of total private jobs added

Manufacturing: 1,210 jobs added; 3.7% of total private jobs added

Transportation-Warehousing-Utilities: 1,210 jobs added; 3.7% of total private jobs added

Other Services: 550 jobs added; 1.7% of total private jobs added

Note that some sectors lost jobs, so as an absolute indicator this percentage may be misleading, and the percentages won't add to 100: but it's perfectly valid as a basis for comparison between sectors.

Of the first category, Health Care and Social Assistance, having read the even more detailed state jobs reports, I know that "Health Care" rather than "Social Assistance" makes up the vast bulk of these jobs. So, health care is indeed responsible for the lion's share of private sector job growth in the Phoenix metro area (here, over the last year).

Of the second category, Leisure and Hospitality, there are two subcategories, of which Accomodation and Food Service is wholly responsible for the added jobs (the other, Arts-Entertainment-Recreation, actually lost jobs). So, we're talking about tourism and/or eating-out.

Trade (77 percent of jobs added in retail trade) isn't full of high-paying positions.

I'm almost out of time today, but the issue of where Phoenix is going, as an amplification of my earlier comments here, seems to be a pressing issue.



"the sahuaro fell over and killed one of the guys.

In the end, the desert always wins."

Cacti 1 - Homo Sapiens 100,000+

Who wins? No one.

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