Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wow, They Noticed Us in New York!

NY Times Delcares El Centro to be Ground Zero, the Capital City of the Recession

I guess that it's nice to be noticed. The article makes a couple of minor factual mistakes. We are not in California's "inland" valley. We are in Imperial Valley. The southernmost of the chain of valleys that hold the center of the state. Immediately to the north of us, there is the Coachella valley, then the San Bernardino Mountains, a high desert plateau, then the fabled Steinbeck country of the Central Valley.

We are about a ninety minute drive from Palm Springs, two hours from San Diego, four and a half hours from L.A., one hour from Yuma. . .barring, of course, time consuming encounters with "La Migra." All told though, like many border regions it's more complicated than simple lines and made up regions. In fact, no matter how far you drive, we remain miles from all of you.

One of the biggest impacts that both the "Phony War on Terror" and the nativist cranks like Tom Tancredo have had upon our economy is to simply choke the very life from commerce. Just south there is the city of Mexicali. Three million people who would gladly cross the border to trade, do other business, and even simply visit friends and relatives. The average border crossing takes around two hours. Not good for business. Little trips to Mexicali, often to visit its large and vibrant Chinatown, used to be the stuff of whim. Not anymore.

Rather than continue, or make more oppresive, the "constitution free zone," (4th and 5th amendment rights do not exist at Border Patrol Checkpoints) that is our border region; I suggest that they establish a free access and trade zone, just like they promised to do in NAFTA.

As it stands, Mexico's biggest export to us is drugs and workers. Our biggest export to Mexico is illegal firearms.

That's just sick yo.