editor: fred miller December 31, 2022 #43 December /22
Well this has turned into something other than I planned, kind of a mish mash of material I prepared for the wire segment on KBRP Friday. Doesn't hang together too well, but that happens sometime. I'll have another out soon cause I've got a lot of stuff backlogged.
Driving on Hwy 90 to Tucson last week, lots of truck hauling containers out of Whetstone to Tucson. Gov. Ducey spent about $175 milllion taypayer dollars to transport from Tucson, install, remove and transport back to Tucson, shipping containers he illegally ordered put up on federal land. Add the dough for the looming court case of he trying to claim that land as Arizona's. And then add $5 million to that for the publicity stunt of sending buses of migrants to the East coast in a publicity stunt.
Good Bye Gov. Ducey, don't let the door hit you in the ass when you leave, many of us sure ain't going to miss you. He's the man who refused to curtail COVID transmission with common sense measures that gave Arizona 32,000 people dead, highest number of deaths from the virus per capita in the country as well as thousands of us getting sick. How many millions did you cost us with your intransigency?
And presided over the largest raid on public school funds by giving private charter school and home schoolers, millions for ‘entitlement’ scholarships. Oh yeah, lowering tax rates that gave wealth to the richest at the expense of the poorest. Not really the business governor, but the governor who gave us the business.
Hello Katie Hobbs!
Thank to readers! I appreciate that the Bisbee Wire is useful to many of you and that you have mentioned it to me. I don't get too much email feedback, but lotsa of verbal strokes. Every so often I get an itch to do something more with the Wire, more graphics, photos, vids, interviews, YouTube channel, podcast, change the format...but then I come to my senses. One thing about getting older for me, is that I have many more ideas-good ones I think-but less and less energy to carry them out. Damn! This living thing seems bassackward.
It's an odd couple of weeks for me, the first time in almost 50 years that I haven't worked during the holidays around xmas and New Years. I'm going to bed.
Feliz Año Nuevo!
A Very Incomplete Roundup...
A few takeaways
Election deniers ran and lost The losers are whiners, don'tcha get sick of em? Cochise County Supes brought shame to their office and disgrace to the county. Bisbee/Sales tax passed Bisbee/a new water district passed National Democratic machine sucks Local, State, Republicans been infected with Liar Virus
Steve Benson/Arizona Mirror/https://www.azmirror.com
Funding for Charter schools affects all taxpayers.
Unlimited Empower Scholarship Account (ESA)scholarships with little oversight, have seen a huge enrollment jump. (Why not it's like free dough) 30,000 Arizona students are now enrolled in private schools, more than doubling the increase over last year, with 8ooo of those ESA's going special needs students.
So far it has cost an astounding $313 million out of the education general fund! The legislative analysis for the bill that enlarged the ESA program was woefully wrong when it estimated the cost at ‘speculative’ $34 million.
Families can use the funds for tuition at a private school, tutoring services, therapy services and learning materials like books or art supplies.
There is a woeful lack of oversight of charter schools as well as 'scholar' families.
The impact on public schools is substantial because for every student withdrawing from a public school, that school loses about $3680 per student.
Bisbee has lost 4 students to private schools with the loss of $14,400 to the school district
Tucson has lost 476 students for a loss of $4,923,203.95
The lege and the gov have failed to change the education spending limit despite promising to do so. The 1980 imposed limit ties schools to a very outdate budget limit.
Limiting voter choice propositions 129 and 132 limits future ballot initiatives to a single subject and more importantly require voter-approved tax increases to pass with 60% of the vote. Boo!
Proposition 128, which would have made it easier for the Legislature to amend voter-approved measures that are found to have legal flaws lost heavily. As it should have!
PUBLIC LIGHT EXPOSES DARK MONEY
And best of all prop 211 won with more than 70% of the vote. It will get at least some dark money into the light because it mandates that anyone donating $50k or more to a campaign has to be identified publicly. Yippee
COVID was Arizona”s third-leading cause of death in 2020 and 2021, behind heart disease and cancer, but some health experts say that isn't telling the full story of its lethal effects in the state. Total deaths were nearing 32,000. Provisional surveillance numbers from the state health department show that in 2022 in Arizona there were 6,278 COVID-19 deaths through Nov. 30, the equivalent of an average of nearly 19 deaths per day.
Most health professionals point to the lack of mitigation measures; mandatory masks, and shelter in place policies that out going governor Doug Duecy refused to mandate. Consequently, although bars and gyms were closed for a short time, the infection and mortality rate were much higher.
In Cochise County, 38,000 total case have been reported, 618 directly related deaths. There were more cases reported in Jan and Feb 2022 than in other months.
A corollary to this is that Since 2020, routine preventative healthcare visits and vaccinations for kids have fallen 30% to 50% in Arizona. Arizona has seen recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles and mumps. This is the result of misinformation about covid vaccinations and the anti-scientific, anti-vaxxers in general.
Roe v Wade overturned
Abortions were made illegal in a ruling from the Supreme Court thereby really pissing off a lot of women that in turn voted.
As of 12/1/22…
13 states ban abortion completely;
44 states ban some form of abortion or are considering some ban;
One state Michigan, has voted to add abortion protection in the state constitution.
Arizona bans abortion after 15 weeks. This law is being challenged.
There are 5 abortion providers in Arizona, none in Cochise County and two in Pima, three in Phoenix.
Consumers feel constrained, but restaurateurs are extra pinched: According to government data, prices for food consumed at home rose 12 percent over the past 12 months, while food consumed away from home-restaurants of various kinds-rose 8.5 percent in the same time. This means restaurant owners are eating some of that increase in food costs and not passing it along to customers to stay competitive.
There are about 11.8 million people employed in food service, about half a million less than 2020. Jobs have returned quicker than workers have. Many restaurants continue to have labor shortages as thousands have dropped out of the hospitality labor force. And the lack of labor has forced some restaurants to curtail hours.
Restaurant labor costs are up 9.8 percent this year, and were up 9 percent last year, according to the National Restaurant Association.
I would make an educated guess that there are about 150-200 people working in Bisbee restaurants and bars. Next time you are out, make sure you share your wealth and put some long green on the table.
AND SPEAKING OF RESTAURANTS....IN BISBEE
The restaurant scene is Bisbee has undone some changes and additions. Copper Pig in Warren is new and doing booming biz with a mention coming in AZ Highways. Mornings Cafe has changed ownership. Contessa's Cantina has new owners and will be closed for a short time soon for a remodel. Los Hermanos in has opened this year, as has Chuy's Burritos, both in Warren. Mike Clement's, former chef at Dots', will soon openthe long delayed Taqueria Outlaw on Main and a few doors down, Cafe Royale is due to open in the Bisbee Royale. Bisbee Breakfast Club continues to chug along with several locations now in Tucson. The Quarry is open seven days for food as is the Table, that recently returned to full operation. Cafe Roka continues to pack em in, with a new cocktail menus and additional dining options. Dot's Diner put up more outdoor tables and added music and has a nice little scene going. Cafe Cornucopia added new weekend nights and Sunday morning to their hours with the talented Thayer Kuehne at the stove. Got a yen to buy a thriving bakery, sandwich joint, and retail store? High Desert Market is for sale while they continue to put out good food. Patissierie Jacqui expanded her hours a bit this year to get those yummyscrumptious offerings (ohmagahd the cruffins!) to more peeps. Jimmy's Hot Dogs has changed ownership but continues to pump out those plump dogs and lots more. Gus the Greek is still dishin those pizzas. Neariahs moved from on hwy 92 to off Hwy 92 in the former ChinaLand location in Safeway plaza. Los Tachos has reopened on Naco Hwy. Thuy's continues to turn out superb street Vietnamese food. Screaming Banshee packs em inside with peeps often spilling out the doors onto the patio chairs of the former gas station.
(In this short piece it is difficult to attempt a coherent explanation of inflation, but these are some factors.)
...has affected everyone. Inflation is the loss of purchasing power over time.There are many factors for inflation but supply chain disruptions, material shortages, and labor shortages, resulted in a shortage of goods while consumers had cash.
Everything from raw materials to manufactured stuff, to delivery, to wholesale and retail has been impacted by COVID resulting in a shorage of workers at every point in the consumption process.
Products were scarce and demand outstripped supply resulting in higher prices.
Thus the last three years looks like this:
November of this year, 7.1%, is about the same as the start of the year.
From USA FACTS…(usafacts.org) The place for facts junkies!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose 9.1% from June 2021 to June 2022, the highest rate since 1981.
Taking an average of all categories, as the inflation index does, shows that inflation is currently highest for younger households. It is about 2 percentage points higher for households headed by 21-year-olds as it is for octogenarians who live at home.
Over the past 12 months, inflation was 6.7% in the New York City metropolitan area and 12.3 in the Phoenix metropolitan area, due in part to different housing markets.
A huge factor almost unmentioned in most media explanations of inflation is corporate profits.
Certain corporations are using the cover of inflation to raise prices excessively, resulting in record profits and profit margins. Beginning in 2021, certain corporations began enjoying record profits and profit margins—and continue to do so today. Analysis of financial information from a sampling of the largest corporations in several industries shows massive increases in profits between 2019 and 2021:
Three of the five largest companies in the shipping industry saw profits rise by 29,965%; ocean carriers will make 25% more, $270 billion in profits in 2022, than last year. F5 times what they made two years ago.
The two largest public companies in the rental car industry enjoyed a profit increase of 597%; For instance Hertz was up $30 million over last year
Four of the largest public companies in the meat processing industry saw profits go up by 134%; some companies doubled their income over the past two years.
Four of the ten largest public companies by market cap in the oil and gas industry had profits rise by 62%.
The Food Chain
Food companies are breaking records; pepsico is up 17% over last year, Over the last year, the price of food eaten at home has soared 13 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with some items spiking even higher. Cereals and bakery goods are up 16.2 percent from a year ago, closely followed by dairy, which has risen 15.9 percent.
The 1s and 2nd largest supermarket chains want to merge. Kroger wants to buy Albertsons making it the second largest food company after Walmart. They would operate 5000 stores in 48 states. Too early to tell but opposition to the merger is building.The FTC will be reviewing the proposition.
Kroger gross profit for the twelve months ending October 31, 2022 was $31.531B, a 4.87% increase year-over-year. Kroger annual gross profit for 2021 was $30.901B, a 14.48% increase from 2020. (Kroger owns Frys)
Albertsons owns Safeway. Their annual revenue for 2022 was $71.887B, a 3.15% increase from 2021.
Albertsons annual revenue for 2021 was $69.69B, a 11.58% increase from 2020.
................ Jobs in Cochise County From Southeast Arizona Economic Development Group, Cochise county economic news. Unemployment rate in Bisbee is, 1.7%, down from 2.0% in October this year, but up from 1.4% in November a year ago. Cochise County’s unadjusted unemployment rate in November 2022 was 3.9%, down from 4.5% in October but still up from 3.4% in November 2021. The number of nonfarm jobs in Cochise County was up by 300 in the 12 months ended November for job growth of 0.9%, according to data from Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. All the gains were in the private sector, which added 400 jobs (1.7%). Those were partly offset by the loss of 100 government jobs (-0.9%). Within government, all the losses were federal jobs (-2.1%). State and local government jobs in Cochise County held steady in the 12 months ended November. Countywide private-sector, service-providing jobs were up by 100 (0.5%) from November 2021 to November 2022, with the gain of 200 jobs (4.7%) in educational and health services and 100 jobs (2.8%) in leisure and hospitality partly offset by the loss of 100 jobs (-1.5%) in trade, transportation, and utilities, and 100 jobs (-2.2%) in professional and business services. Job numbers held steady in the information industry, financial activities, and other services in the 12 months ended in November. Average weekly earnings in Cochise County were $778.80 in November 2022 (up 8.6% from November 2021). Average weekly hours worked were 33.0 (down marginally from 33.1 in November last year). Countywide average hourly earnings in November were $23.60 (up 9.0% from a year ago). The current unemployment rate is 3.7% little changed in this quarter and in fact since March it has fluctuated between 3.5% and 3.7%. Monthly job growth has averaged 392,000 thus far in 2022.
Employment in leisure and hospitality is below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 980,000, or 5.8 percent. Leisure and hospitality has added an average of 82,000 jobs per month thus far this year, less than half the average gain of 196,000 jobs per month in 2021.
Employment is manufacturing and finance has basically stayed the same all year. With the former adding about 30,000 jobs a month and the latter about 12,000. Same as 2021
Health care employment has increased by an average of 47,000 jobs per month, well above the 2021 average monthly gain of 9,000.
Job Openings are at a year long, about 10.3 million. Jan/22 it was 10.9 million and at the highest in March there were 11.8 million jobs unfilled.
And those super profits have generated….worker militancy. There were 394 strikes this year, 39% more than 2021. Nurses, warehouse, train, teachers, and more. Varying reasons among them, working conditions, health care, sick leave, worker shortage, understaffing, and pay.
AMONG THE UNMENTIONED
The rise and fall of cryptocurrency
Queen Elizabeth died
The rise of ‘Woke’ as a noun
Twitter in crisis
Water, water is not everywhere. Saudi’s, pecans, cows,???
Arizona population increases, domestic migration main cause
Maricopa County, Arizona had the largest growth with 671,405
Lowest Teacher Salary in the Nation...TNormalized for these wage and cost of living differences, average teacher salary is lowest in Arizona,
Plot to kidnap Michigan governor, caught put in prison
Attacks on generating plants in Texas, Washington
644 mass shootings
The rise of incivility
Summer and winter Olympics held in China
Tom Brady retired. Then he unretired
The LA Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals in the super bowl
Houston Astros won the world series
Serena Williams retired
The Saudis bought a golf tournament LUV upsetting the PGA
Quatar bought a world cup which Venezuela won; the sand washing of sports has begun
And finally in entertainment news, Dave Barry mentioned that the venerable Rolling Stones announced that they will hit the road this summer for their Drool on the Microphone Tour.