Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hurricanes and Unemployment

I'm always one to point out that bad hurricane seasons in the Gulf of Mexico are usually accompanied by good crops in West Africa. The "Golden Years" of coastal real estate in Florida, the 1980s, are universally remembered as "Hungry Time" in West Africa.

And then we all heard the brutal (but correct) argument that disasters are good for certain sectors--for example, there was a boom in hiring last year in Florida and Louisiana in the construction and cleaning sectors...

So here's something more: Tel Quel recently reported that Morocco's unemployment rate has hit an historic low. At 9.8 percent, the first time below the 10 percent threshold in nearly a decade, the rate compares favorably with Spain, France, and Germany, all of which have double-digit unemployment rates.

Why is Morocco's unemployment rate so low? Well, here's another statistic: The urban rate remains at the norm of 13.5 percent, but the rural rate is down to 3.5 percent. In other words, it's harvesting season in Morocco and there a bumper crops. Most economists would have put "seasonally adjusted" before "13.5 percent" and kept the old number.

No doubt the numbers point as much to low mechanization in the agriculture sector as they do to high yields, but I prefer to look on the sunny side. My people in Northern Ghana also tell me the rains have come early and strong there, so look out Florida!


At 2:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That nara looks absolutely wonderful!

At 7:42 PM, Blogger AWG said...

Florida is really dry right now. There have been some wildfires, in fact. It's been real dry out here in the Dust Bowl area as well. Interesting meteorological observations, John.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

Mama: That nara actually was growing in Florida, accdg to the Wikipedia website I took it from (free USDA picture).

Andrew: Something's definitely strange with all the fires in OK and FL...

At 12:19 PM, Blogger John Schaefer said...

OK, I was wrong: Georgia:

Pearl millet developed by USDA-ARS and grown at Tifton, GA. Non-copyrightable image courtesy of the USDA-ARS

Someone needs to tell the USDA that whoever claimed to develop this millet just went to Touin and bought some nara...

At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't me that identified it--it was a genuine nara expert of the best type!


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