Coming into Los Angeles

Skipping over the scum-puddle of despair

The “bubble” didn’t just burst on me. It was like some atomic mutation of swine burst it’s innards all over my life. After over twenty years in high tech – doing everything from assembling high-end stereo equipment to being a CTO – I can’t even get interviewed in Silicon Valley. Where the jobs are supposed to be. At least that’s why I moved here.

So, true to GonZo fashion, I am picking up and moving to Los Angeles to start a different life. I have my own start-up export company to work on, and two friends have ventures I’ll be helping with, plus my little web design consultancy may be able to find some fertile soil in LA. The place I thought would be “home” for the next twenty years has turned into a wasteland. I will be online via dial-up for email during the move, and should be back to broadband connectivity by mid-October.

What has happened in this valley is just shocking. Not even the erosion of Route 128 in Boston compares to the depth and darkness of this area. San Francisco was recently rated the “fastest shrinking city” in the United States. And it shows. Commercial real estate is only 60% occupied. If you lose your job you should expect it to take 6 to 18 months to find another. BMW’s and Mercedes are being turned in at the end of their lease for Hondas and Toyotas. Malls are going under. And the big layoffs aren’t easing up.

Were this happening to an industry that our politicians cared about – like auto workers or bankers – then the government would be stepping in. And certainly doing something about the suck tide of employment that is channeling work to central Asia. But the industry that fueled the boom of the 90’s is being gutted like 3-day old road-kill, and as long as the CEO’s and CFO’s are still making millions per year, then everything is fine, right?

And the narrow-mindedness of letting this happen is astonishing. The politicians are all blabbering about how to “grow jobs” – with no real clue how to do it. Hey, why not start by NOT letting all the jobs from high tech be shipped to India? Why not revitalize the ONLY industry that can grow fast enough to turn the economy around. Hardware and software companies turn products and revenue around faster than just about anything save for drugs and porn.

Oh well. Not my problem anymore. I’ll be in LA; away from the scum-puddle of despair. Better brush up on my ebonics, I guess …