Writings and observations

Port blasphemy

Afine bit of analysis on the economic and social sides of current efforts at Puget Sound (notably Tacoma) port expansion – for some, an obscure topic but rendered here brightly specific – by columnist Peter Callaghan.

A point: “So eager are the shippers to get those boxes back to Asia that 29 percent of the containers leave Tacoma with nothing inside. I used to say the biggest export from Tacoma was jobs, but with all of those empty boxes the No. 1 export might actually be air.”

A second: “The port overhypes the number of jobs from its container terminals by adding related and indirect jobs. That allows it to count not just the longshoreman and the truck driver, but also the worker at the Target warehouse and the clerk at the 7-Eleven. Such a multiplier effect can be applied to any job, yet we don’t often let other employers get away with it. For some reason, though, it is required whenever we speak of the port.”

And more, in this highly recommended read.

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