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January 02, 2015


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One reason why real estate can't levitate Arizona and Nevada any longer is the right-wing economic preference of austerity. Deficit spending during a recession is irresponsible (but only when a Democrat is president). Likewise, easy money is sinful if you're not rich since losers wanted more house than they could afford, as Rick Santelli reminded us. Yet, oddly enough, the same right-wingers complain about the regulations in Dodd-Frank somehow spoiling the free-for-all. If only you trusted us more! It was those blacks getting mortgages under CRA that crashed the global economy!

Chutzpah never sleeps. Nor deflection.

So, the economy of, for and, by the 1% rewards the coastal high-tech and financial sectors, keeping traditional blue states in relative prosperity. Meanwhile, red states depend increasingly on food stamps, Medicaid, the private-prison racket, crop subsidies, and the leisure industry to stay above water. What's the matter with Kansas is now a matter of national concern. The paradoxes are amazing. States that need government the most tend to be the reddest.

Paul Krugman's column in this morning's Times is definitely worth reading. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/02/opinion/paul-krugman-twin-peaks-planet.html?ref=opinion&_r=0 Indeed, it's rather chilling to consider his slightly offhand conclusion that our era's economically distressed are evocatively similar to those of the 1930s. An economy that works primarily for the wealthy as it did then gave rise to the very discontent that toppled democracies and unleashed ultra-nationalist madness in Europe. FDR famously saved capitalism in this country and has earned the undying contempt of the right for his efforts.

The organized police slowdown in New York City has more than a faint whiff of fascism about it. Polarizing this nation against an unpopular minority (you might almost think Al Sharpton was a Rothschild) is a sideways lurch into populist hysteria. Merely complaining about the police is now akin to burning the flag. Mayor De Blasio dare not denounce these provocateurs for fear of igniting even greater outrage.

In Arizona, Joe Arpaio rose to success by fanning the flames of xenophobia, which in turn helped Republicans avoid responsibility for their utterly inept governance. As long as it's about "the others" rather than bad policies, voters tribalize around skin color and cultural cues. Arizona pays a high price for its not-so-latent bigotry since the ramifications entail an even more extreme ideological bent in state government.

Voters have short memories and fuzzy reasoning. This isn't just Arizona - it's really a national phenomenon. The middle class has been stressed by a kind of Amway economy where the winners stomp the losers while everyone claps. We're doing this to ourselves because "we" don't know who "we" really means. The Mexican mowing your lawn clearly doesn't belong. Nor does the black "thug" with his lid on backwards and his baggy pants barely hanging on his hips. They're losers. We spend a lot of time deploring them because we might have to wake up otherwise.

It is fun to point totally to the political climate of Arizona as an explanation of the charts.
One might want to consider that Arizona really was only a "division" or remote location town rather than a headquarters location with the expected management and executives that drove the entire organization. That designation was OK as long as the demand for the products produced for that division were meaningful and appropriately profitable but when sales and profit pressures forced moves to cheaper locales, Arizona was left without the necessary base to provide economic lift.

Construction provided a shield from reality recognition until it too lost its product sales.

Honeywell; gone. Motorola; gone. Reynolds; long gone. Airwest; gone. General Electric; largely gone. Sperry; here but not large enough to notice. Greyhound (management really); broken up and gone. The list is long. If even 1/2 of those mentioned were still here in force, Arizona would have a remarkably different look and the charts above would be different.

Note also the loss of Arizona (and locally focused) banks that had a significant hand in driving the positive economic growths seen 30 to 40 years ago.

This is Great news! Low wages mean lower prices. Come all ye retirees from the Midwest.

Gov. Ducey will do what Republicans always do when facing huge budget deficits and economic stagnation:

1) Fetal personhood laws, fetal pain laws and/or legislation to exert more government control over women's private parts.
2) Gun carry laws, so guns can be carried anywhere by anybody in Arizona.
3) Blame it all on illegals, and concoct some illegal legislation that will cost millions, lose in court but distract and inflame 'The Base'.

Note that the Az Republic today says Stephen Moore is the lead on Ducey's economic team. Moore has an extensive history of bloviating malarkey at the Wall Street Journal, on NPR and in books, 2 you would have to look a while to find and which indicate how accurate, consistent, catastrophic and unaccountable his economic expertise is:

"Bullish on Bush: How George W. Bush's Ownership Society will Make America Stronger" (just pre-election, 2004)

and this follow-up from 2014, where Moore lumps Bush in with the Kenyan Usurper for doing what in 2004 Moore thought was so great:

"Crash Landing: How Bush, Bernanke, Pelosi and Obama Have Wrecked the U.S. Economy"

And now we have a deficit that no one knows how we are going to reconcile.
The state is going to have to cut budgets, but not to the private prison industry, and not to private schools. That would be a 'good' Republican sin.

Do know if you all noticed but ADOT is upgrading the already big and Beautiful Freeways from Mesa east. Currently big project on lightly used 202. I am sure there is a "good" reason. Meanwhile west valley freeways continue to be sad and ugly except where you get off to go to the Football stadium. speaking of Ugly, Cardinals football stadium! So far in my trips on 202 I have yet to identify a worker of the color, not white. Meanwhile all my neighbors are in from Canada and the cold regions of the US. Seems most are all white and over 55 with retirement incomes. They come about October 20 and leave around April 15. My pet Javelina's tried to carry off my bird food block last nite. They finally gave up about 200 feet from its original placement. The snow has all melted off the Superstitions. My cactus continue to flourish and are standing tall. The all mighty phallic Sahauro continues to assist the sand in taking back whats left of the great Sonoran desert.
And Edward Abbey said, "No Comment."

I love how there is money to keep building 303. I thought we were broke?

The funding for the freeways is NOT coming from the state budget; a Maricopa County transportation sales tax (0.5%) is funding it.

So the state trucks I see on site r?
maybe inspectors?

Stephen Moore = Club for Growth founder
Stephen Moore = Americans for Prosperity scholar
Stephen Moore = Arizona tax dollars are going to fund ALEC’s (American Legislative Exchange Council) interests for the next eight years.

$40,000,000 price tag to fix State Route 89 south of Page. What tax is funding that? There is always money for roads and tax breaks for our much vaunted job creators, but painfully little for education (unless the school is to be torn down and then rebuilt to resemble a prison).

it appears the construction on 60 is in Pinal county. I'll check.

for a small history of Arizona roads i recommend the 1903 edition of "Arizona, Good Roads Association, Road Maps and Tour Book"
Thatcher Arizona is noted as having the "Worlds best Climate, 365 days a year". and pure mountain water that is drinkable right from the stream.Good Church conditions and there are no saloons within 50 miles and no poverty.
Globe is called "The Gateway to the Copper World" and with a population of 10 thousand has five churches, Episcopal, Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist.
The Town of Pima no longer exists.

I noticed this last weekend that while our senators give away public land for a copper mine, a working copper mine (albeit in bankruptcy) outside of Kingman just laid off all its miners.


After they suck the earth dry of its minerals are McCain's silent partners planning on a Hilton Resort and Casino at Oak Flats? To salve their guilt they can then offer the Apache a token percentage.
I suspect that to widen the road for mining the place now known as Oak Flats will evaporate into Corporate gold dust.

It definitely seems like jobs are becoming more scarce. We do garage door repair in Phoenix. We are constantly getting more calls from unqualified individuals in search of a job. People that have never ever been in the garage door industry, let alone and mechanic or construction experience. Hopefully things get better soon, but I am not counting on it.

people don't park their cars in the garage. it's a store house for Goodwill products. All you need is a side door.

A couple of observations:

(1) Decrease in employment in a sector is not necessarily the same as decrease in sector activity. The reasoning is sound in construction, but dubious in computer and electronics manufacturing.

The reason is simple: automation has decreased the need for labor in manufacturing since the high point of the late 1990s shown in the graph above.

I suspect that FRED graph would show similar declines for nearly everywhere since the late 1990s in manufacturing employment, including advanced manufacturing.

(2) Here's what Lee McPheeters, research professor at ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business, had to say about Arizona jobs growth, in an article published one year ago this month:

"McPheters said Arizona jumped from being the 49th ranked state for job growth in 2010 to the seventh ranked state in October 2013, based on his analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Moody's puts Arizona at No. 2 for 2014. Despite that high ranking, McPheters said Arizona is still two to three years from a full economic recovery. He figures the state has regained 46 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession, but it still has 170,000 more jobs to go."


Mr. Talton wrote:

"Arizona didn't successfully pivot into information jobs, today's well-paying sector elsewhere. It's not a case of wishing Phoenix could be Seattle. The state has dramatically lost ground since the late 1990s even as the sector grew in competing states and metros..."

Really? Then how do you explain that in the last year for which figures are available (2013):

"Phoenix led all large metro areas in information-sector and finance job-growth rates. In fact, Phoenix created the same number of information jobs in 2013 as the San Francisco area (2,000). Phoenix was also first nationwide in both the growth-rate percentage (5.6 percent) and absolute number of finance jobs added (8,400)."

(per McPheters)


(Might have to scroll down to get the text.)

Perhaps we have to distinguish between the metro Phoenix area and the state at large?

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