Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Go east young man

Need a new job? Go east.

If you think California's economic woes are bad now just wait until 2016. Once the Panama Canal upgrade is finished so too will be tens of thousands of jobs on the western seaboard from San Diego to Seattle.

The canal will be able to support gigantic modern container ships that today are serviced in California where the goods from Asia are then trucked across the country for distribution to eastern cities. Port cities all along the east coast and the Gulf of Mexico are completing upgrades of their own to handle the large ships. The opportunities for trucking and railroad companies to expand employment in the east look promising.

The benefits for the distribution system in a vast consumer market like the eastern United States is only part of the story. The entire Eastern seaboard of South America will benefit as well. Ships that used to take the long and dangerous trip around the southern tip of Chile will be able to reach Brazil and Venezuela via the relatively calm waters of the gulf.

While the exact impact is still hard to quantify one thing is certain California will suffer. The Golden State is already on the brink of total financial collapse due in large part to political idiocy and a fatal devotion to public unions and "green" policies. Despite some of the best weather and natural abundance the state government has made California number 50 on the list of "Best States to Do Business In". The Panama Canal upgrade will devastate two of the states thriving occupations - longshoreman and truckers.

There's not much California can do about this. Will this be the final nail in the coffin? It appears the folks up in Sacramento don't care anyway.