Here are two news articles that should be read side-by side. This sort of "compare and contrast" rarely enters the public consciousness.
From ABC news we have the national listing of those cities with the highest unemployment during May of 2012. Figures are in percentages. See if you can spot a trend.
Yuma, Ariz. 28.9
El Centro, Calif. 26.8
Yuba City, Calif. 17.9
Merced, Calif. 17.3
Modesto, Calif. 15.6
Fresno, Calif. 14.9
Hanford-Corcoran, Calif. 14.8
Visalia-Porterville, Calif. 14.7
Stockton, Calif. 14.5
Madera-Chowchilla, Calif. 14.3
Except for Yuma and El Centro, the top eight cities in the entire nation that continue to suffer Depression-level unemployment are all located along the Route 99 corridor in California's Central Valley. A rational response to this jarring cluster by "Moonbeam" Brown and the California Legislature should be shame, outrage and indignation. This would be followed by an aggressive attempt to create a myriad of modest paying, low skill job opportunities for these communities since they include a high proportion of migrant and immigrant labor.
Well, don't hold your breath since these low-income unemployed Californians are disposable pawns in Jerry Brown's mutil-billion dollar railroad scam.
In a move some see as an attempt to round up badly needed "yes" votes for the project, Gov. Jerry Brown and state Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, are insisting on an "all or nothing" vote on both the $68 billion rail line and millions of dollars for local "connectivity" projects.
In the Bay Area, those connections include:
-- $140 million for new BART cars.
-- $105 million to modernize Caltrain.
-- $61 million for San Francisco's Central Subway.
-- $46.5 million to improve the tracks on the Capital Corridor commute line between Oakland and San Jose.
High-speed rail needs 21 votes in the state Senate to get the green light to start spending voter-approved bonds in a major way.
Oh, those clever Democrats, linking up the vote for high-speed rail with a vote on local transportation projects. The only reason they do so is for political cover. Even Brown, the Senate Democrats and their allies in the media could never spin a straight "up and down" vote on high-speed rail.
Simply stated, every California taxpayer with IQ above room temperature knows high-speed rail will be monumental waste of money as does the Senate's own legislative analyst report. Unfortunately, many Democratic State Senators generally act as mindless slobbering puppies that joyfully lick the union hands that feed their campaign coffers. This is institutionalized political corruption that would make the Senators of imperial Rome green with envy.
Little wonder why there is such apathy, cynicism and disgust for our current political system. Californians have elected a kleptocracy of ethically challenged spineless clowns without a moral compass among them.
Here is more background concerning this mythic saga of corruption, stupidity and greed called California high-speed rail.
Dissenting Democratic lawmakers have suggested instead using bonds to improve existing rail systems within those densely populated areas. Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, said he won't support the plan because there's too much risk in placing the line in the Central Valley and too much uncertainty that the whole project will get done. He said with resources stretched, the state should focus on other needs such as education and health care.
"Sometimes it's like a car you really wanted and it was a really good deal, and you're walking away from a good deal but you just can't afford it," said the lawmaker from Concord.
"I've always said I was prepared to support high-speed rail done right," said Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, another skeptic. "But frankly the High-Speed Rail Authority has struggled to deliver a project that fits that description."
Lawmakers are under pressure from labor groups that say the project is sorely needed because it will bring jobs, particularly to the Central Valley region that has higher-than-average unemployment. The Obama administration has threatened to rescind $3.3 billion in federal grants if the Legislature doesn't appropriate its share of funding.
We all clearly see the usual political shenanigans being used to help line the pockets of the labor unions that, in turn, heavily contribute to re-electing Democratic candidates.
We all clearly see that high-speed rail construction jobs will be exclusively skilled union jobs, filled from the hiring halls of LA and San Francisco.
We all clearly see that high-speed rail will have little or no effect on the chronic unemployment in the Central Valley. The unemployed used to work the most pruductive land on the planet, America's fruit and vegetable garden, significant portions now cut off from Federal water supplies due to the Endangered Species Act.
We all clearly see that the monies wasted on this massive boondoggle could have been used to create real productive jobs, to boost the depression level economies of these cities.
We all clearly see the Democrats' commitment to the help unemployed and less fortunate is another out and out lie. Don't believe me? Just drive down Highway 99, from Yuba City to Visalia to see the abandoned housing tracts, fallow fields, boarded up malls and the desperate men begging for work on every street corner.
We all can clearly see the truth with our own eyes.