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Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
Following up on a CD post yesterday about companies leaving California in record numbers, the chart above shows the difference in employment levels between California and Texas. While Texas employment was stable through the recession and is now 242,000 jobs above the December 2007 level, California lost jobs for 23 consecutive months starting in February 2008 and the September employment level is more than one million jobs below December 2007. In every month since September 2009, the employment level in California has been below 16 million, which is back to the employment level of 2000, more than a decade ago. In contrast, Texas employment is about 14% above the 2000 level.
I have featured charts similar to the one above that displays real GDP and civilian employment over the last ten years. More than any single chart, I think this one really helps to accurately describe the current state of the U.S. economy:
On Aug. 24, federal agents descended on three factories and the Nashville corporate headquarters of the Gibson Guitar Corp. Accompanied by armored SWAT teams with automatic weapons, agents from the Fish and Wildlife Service swarmed the factories, threatening bewildered luthiers, or guitar craftsman, and other frightened employees. A smaller horde invaded the office of CEO Henry Juszkiewicz, pawing through it all day while an armed man stood in the door to block his way.
The incident attracted national attention and outrage. Like Boeing—whose plans to locate new production in South Carolina are opposed by the National Labor Relations Board—here was an iconic American brand under seemingly senseless federal fire. The fact that Gibson was singled out when other guitar makers use the same woods has fed speculation that the company was targeted—because it is not unionized, perhaps, or didn't donate enough to the Democratic Party.
"I don't think it's a political issue," Mr. Juszkiewicz says, shaking his head. "But I will say this: I wrote a letter to President Obama. I spelled out what happened. I said: You know, we got raided and here are the facts, I think it's unfair. What do you think we should do? No response."
Maybe the president is not a music lover? "He knows who we are," Mr. Juszkiewicz says. "His daughters have a couple of Gibsons. [Mrs. Obama] gave a guitar to [the French president's singer-songwriter wife] Mrs. Sarkozy. And we called up to make sure that he saw the letter, and he did. No response."
Some commentary on postponing the Keystone XL pipeline decision until after the 2012 election:
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