Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Anybody want to buy a tumbleweed? We got plenty.

Cities with the highest, lowest unemployment rates

Unemployment rates fell in roughly two-thirds of large U.S. cities in August, despite zero job growth nationwide.
Here are the cities with the highest and lowest rates:
Best and Worst Metro areas
Figures are in percentages
Highest unemployment rates August 2011
El Centro, Calif. 32.4
Yuma, Ariz. 29.4
Merced, Calif. 17.5
Yuba City, Calif. 17.0
Stockton, Calif. 16.1
Modesto, Calif. 16.0
Fresno, Calif. 15.8
Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 15.7
Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. 15.3
Palm Coast, Fla. 14.9
Lowest unemployment rates August 2011
Bismarck, N.D. 3.0
Lincoln, Neb. 3.6
Fargo, N.D. 3.9
Portsmouth, N.H. 4.4
Rapid City, S.D. 4.5
Sioux Falls, S.D. 4.5
Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb. 4.6
Burlington, Vt. 4.6
Midland, Texas 4.8
Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, La. 4.9

*****

Notice the first list where it mentions Modesto, Stockton, and Merced Kalifornia?
I live in Modesto and Stockton is 30 miles north, Merced 30 miles south and I'm here to tell you that 16-17% unemployment is flat out bullshit. It's closer to 25%. Motherfuckers don't count how many peoples' unemployment checks have run out or how many folks took an early retirement becasue they couldn't find work. All they acknowledge is the amount of people that are drawing unemployment or welfare checks.

What's sad is those three cities are right in the middle of one of the richest agricultural lands in the country. Work has always been fairly seasonal but when I was dick high to a hound dog, the canneries ran 8-9 months out of the year, canning peaches, cots, cherries, pears, tomatoes, beans and asparagus, among others. You could always tell what month it was by the wonderful smells all over town and the colors of the stains on your ma or grannys' work smock. There was Spreckles Sugar in Manteca that turned a huge amount of sugar beets into sugar.
Melons. Fuck, you name the variety, it was grown here in the valley.
And we can't forget the almonds and walnuts here. The almond harvest here is measured in the millions of pounds here, but nuts really take a miminum of people to harvest and process.
Then there's the dairies - thousands of dairies up and down the valley. Maybe that's why this place is so fucking hot - all them cow farts melted the ozone layer.
Corn here is harvested 3 times a year and alfalfa gets 7 cuttings a year. That's a lot of fucking silage, man.
The canneries employed a huge amount of this areas' population for the majority of the year as did Spreckles and Merced had Castle AFB which was Merceds' main reason for hanging on as long as it did. That air base employed damned near everybody in Merced at one time or the other.
So what's up with all that unemployment?
The main problem in my eyes was the water went away and with the water went the crops.
The fucking hippies had the irrigation water cut so that some fish (probably a little bitty fucker, too) native to Kalifornia wouldn't go extinct.
There are entire corporate farms of thousands of acres on the west side of the valley that have been fallow and idle for several years now because they can't get the water to that fertile soil. The Green fuckers turned the place back into the fucking desert it was 100 years ago all over some damned fish.
No water, no crops, no canneries. When I was a kid, there were about a million of those fuckers running 24 hours a day in the summer and fall, a short run in the spring and closed in the winter. People would work 9 months a year (60+ hours a week) and draw unemployment for 3 or 4 months. It was a good life, I don't ever anybody every doing without. But now, I can think of 4 canneries in the area now and they only work maybe 3 or 4 months a year and they only can tomatoes and peaches. Maybe some cots, I can't remember for sure.
In Manteca, Spreckles shut down and would've really fucked that place up if it hadn't turned into a bedroom community for the Fucking Bay Area, 70 miles to the west.
Merced took a serious buttfucking when Billary cut defense spending and closed Castle AFB down along with a shitload of other vital military bases and posts. That place nearly fucking died. The Feds built a prison there but it doesn't employ but a small fraction that Castle did.
And finally Stockton...... Stockton has always been a shithole, overrun with gangs and welfare families. A 16% unemployment rate for Stockton isn't a bit unusual even when the economy is booming.