Typical story in the San Francisco Chronicle citing the economic woes of the Central Valley and concluding that the solution to all economic woes is more government. The protaganists are a single father who fears his city government job as an arborist “getting ripped from” him, a “family counselor at a nonprofit agency” who lost his job “two years ago when federal funding was cut,” a single mother of five whose “welfare and disability payments were cut last year,” and an elderly woman who had to move into “government-subsidized housing” because she couldn’t afford a private alternative.
Among the demands of the community, according to the article, are “jobs, occupational training and housing assistance.” The area also suffered from the closure of an Air Force base and housing bubble fueled by the construction of UC Merced. And, to add insult to injury, the area lacks a Congressman to bring home the bacon, since the erstwhile Blue Dog Democrat heroically resigned—as a stand against “The constant focus on ‘screamers’ and the ‘horse race’ of elections . . . smothering useful discourse and meaningful debate of public policy”—to take a job as “managing director of the government affairs and public policy areas” in a beltway law firm (after his seat was jeopardized by redistricting).
The local mayor was quick to say that the federal, state, and local governments were to not to blame, or maybe they were: “Not Sacramento or Washington for slashing funding, not the City Council for not raising water rates in two decades. Faul rants sometimes about how the region and its problems have been ignored by President Obama and Mitt Romney, but quickly catches herself.
“‘You just have to assume the responsibility, and that’s what I’ve had to do as mayor,’ she said.”
The article at least provides some paeans to self-reliance, neighborly cooperation, and private charity, and cites some local criticism of politicians for “backing the ‘high-speed rail boondoggle.'” And there is some good news: the city government employee’s job was saved, and the new government university should continue to bring educated residents and jobs.
As we pondered in a post about a similar story set in rural Indiana, we wonder whether these types of stories are nakedly meant to advance the media’s big-government agenda, or whether they reflect a true government-reliant mindset in the heartland.