That coupled with the stoppage and possible closure of the Chevron Richmond refinery, which already cost 1,100 jobs and we have a total of 5,700 direct jobs lost and over 29,000 total people thrown out of work or unable to get work in a San Francisco Bay Area that can't afford this economic hit at this time.
Yeah. 23,000 jobs. See, there's a multiplier impact with business operation such that an office or a manufacturer contracts with other businesses for supplies and services.
The action of a small business owner walking down to the local store to buy printer paper is part of the multiplier effect because that small expenditure helps the retailer run his or her business. Or that person's employee - even if it's just the owner - eating lunch at the local cafe helps keep it a "going concern."
It's well-known amoung urban planners that manufacturing jobs have larger multipliers than service jobs. The Alliance for American Manufacturing reports that for every one manufacturing job lost, there are four more lost in other areas of the economy. The Bay Area has been losing such "basic industry" jobs - and energy counts here - at a frighteningly rapid pace.
No Sense of an Economic Emergency
What bothers me is there's no one acting like there's an economic emergency with the exception of California Senator Diane Feinstein, who called the plant's loss a "devistating blow" to California. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger seems not to care, stating:
"Today is a sad day in the history of Fremont as California joins the ranks of states adversely affected by the bankruptcy of General Motors and the worldwide collapse in demand for automobiles. ... We continue work already in progress ... to ensure appropriate employee severance, proper environmental remediation and assistance in transforming the site to alternative uses."Alternative uses? Like what? A parking lot? The governor says nothing of retaining and establishing jobs at the wage levels the NUMMI workers have today. Awful statement to release. The word "Jobs" does not appear once in it.&
Meanwhile the Toyota jobs are to go to Canada and Texas, which means that perhaps 50 percent of the employment opportunities are leaving America at a time when we're supposed to reverse that trend. If the Chevron plant closes, the jobs move south to Southern California, but it spells curtains on the Bay Area's set of jobs for low skilled workers.
Objective: Jobs for everyone
I'm really sick of the idea that everyone has to be trained to be a brain surgeon, then sit back at home waiting for a job and hoping that more in the population have something wrong with their skull. After World War II and into the '60s America had the objective of full employment - a job for everyone, period. You don't hear that kind of idealism expressed by politicians today.
That must change.
It has to start with California rediscovering economic development and doing whatever it can to save jobs and build on them. Governor Schwarzenegger needs to show the fire in the belly necessary to do this. Right now, the only fire he give off comes from one of his expensive cigars.
Which, I might add, are not made in California.