Saturday, December 10, 2016 – 10:30 a.m.
One would hope that several local Inland Empire governments are feeling stupid and duped these days.
But maybe they don’t care.
In a recent Los Angeles Times newspaper article, local economist John Husing, the mastermind of a plethora of reports pimping local city councils on the benefits of warehouses, has started contradicting himself.
Here’s the quote:
“There are a lot of people doing traditional warehouse work, but that will change,” says John Husing, chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership. “Everything is being automated.”
For the past several years, Husing has been using zingers like tens of thousands of jobs will be created, warehousing will be an economic driver to the region, tax revenue will help fill government coffers, etc.
Now this very same person says that many of those tens of thousands of minimum or low wage jobs will be replaced by machines.
You mean the automation that many other economists saw coming down the tracks years ago?
Another new crop of warehouses is starting to sprout across San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. But Husing could likely give a gee whiz about any of it. Because he was likely compensated for his lofty pronouncements in order to convince local governments to allow this tragedy to occur.
These very same local governments reap only limited property tax on the tilt-up masonry shells and land, not the actual inventory.
The trade-off you ask?
How about damaged roads, traffic congestion and air pollution and its impact on health.
Low wage jobs do not improve housing affordability. They don’t drive the economy in any real measure.
Several other regional economists have been warning that too much concentrated logistics activity and the resulting low-wage jobs isn’t exactly the best idea.
But then again. It is after all the Inland Empire.