The Local Economy Is Doing Great. Except Structurally.

Good news, everybody. The local economy is doing great. From the El Paso Inc.:

What if someone said the U.S. economy is doing fine and the facts show there’s full employment, steady growth and a booming stock market? And El Paso’s economy is “at the front of the line.”

Doesn’t sound right?

That’s what economist Jim Glassman told Chase personnel and business people in El Paso Tuesday.

A former top economist with the Federal Reserve Board and now the managing director and head economist for commercial banking at JP Morgan Chase, Glassman was in El Paso to spread the news that the country is in the third longest expansion in its history – 100 months – and that El Paso is doing great.

“Texas has been at the front of the line in terms of recovery,” Glassman said. “But look at El Paso; you might think it’s sleepy. But El Paso barely felt anything in the recession, and if you compare El Paso with the rest of the state, you’re at the front of the line.”

Well of course El Paso hardly felt anything in the recession. We’re dependent on Fort Bliss, border security, and food stamps. Those sources of income are immune to recession. In fact, Keynsian policy would direct that we increase government spending during a recession. El Paso might do better during a recession than after it.

In a technical sense, the Great Recession ended in 2009. Our population growth rate started falling in 2012.

El Paso’s economy is more than propped up by government spending. El Paso’s economy is addicted to government spending. If we lost Fort Bliss, and border security, and food stamps, and housing subsidies, what would we have?

Our ruling class doesn’t have any plan to save us, so they tell us we’re doing great.

You remember. It’s All Good.


  1. Again, you’ve got it right, Rich. What a putz to come in and tell us, basically, that it is the same old shit, just a different day. El Paso has indeed long been unfazed by serious economic woes that happen elsewhere, because we are frickin’ poor to begin with! Your salaries went down? Big F’n Deal! Ours never went up to begin with! So, now, after years of stagnation, we’re at the front of the line??? What line is that, exactly?

  2. LOL, doesn’t surprise.Whenever the local politicians need a boost they hire an “expert” to tell say El Paso is doing great or they get the PR firm to find a title that places the area in a good light. Remember the “safest” city title that was a lie. Irvine California had that title for years. Caught in a lie then it was spinned with various technical variations such as of its “size”, shape etc.

    Then this year they tried it again until research revealed that was a lie. In five out of six surveys, El Paso was the safest city !

    Then we were told that cook was the best mayor in the world. Truth, the PR firm on retainer, “lobbied”the “contest” folks to pick cook. So that was a lie. It was money and/or influence got the title. The sauce guy was suddenly the best.

    An odd thought entered my mind. Why do oversize women in El Paso always say they are of “average size”. Average compared to what ? It certainly is not in comparison to other regions in the US. So the spin even goes to the level of misleading the size of the women.

  3. I’ve lived in and called El Paso home for over 60 years. I left to join in the fight against the godless communists in 1970 and made few trips “home” until 2003. Somethings happened during those years to turn El Paso from a friendly town/city that was thriving into what we see today. Textile and clothing had been driven off or lured away. New city ordinances made it impossible to “wash” fabrics or treat them. Religious leaders urged boycotts of businesses they felt weren’t “worthy”, driving these businesses out of town. Manufacturing and industry was driven out because they “polluted”. Even the military was discouraged from expansion because they were, you know, the military. The remaining opportunists put a positive spin- “Oh look the Tiguas are doing great”, and then they weren’t. Local government panicked when the taxes collected weren’t anywhere close to those assessed. Local utilities decided it was OK to provide free power to Mexico because they had no way to collect the rates and fees. Citizens became more and more dependent on government handouts since they were no jobs they were interested in. City and county government realized they didn’t have to pander to the public good, they only had to tell folks they were doing so. And then cover up in reams of meaningless paper what they were really up to. The abandoned refinery became a money maker because of its ability to process Mexican heavy sulphur crude, and ships the products back to Mexico. A downtown ballpark is financed by citizens while the owners trim the top earnings off, earnings which are going down. Likewise, there will be a soccer stadium and sports arena built downtown on lands owned by governments’ friends to generate nothing but debt. I wonder what happens in 5 years when finally the house of cards collapses? The tax collections are nowhere near the assessments. And folks are at the breaking point on taxes, whether “it’s for the kiddies” or we need the major city attractions.

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