the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

Inland Empire: “the gold mine here was construction.”

Posted by ecoshift on August 22, 2009

A Cul-de-Sac of Lost Dreams, and New Ones – NYTimes.com

Throughout the Inland Empire — which includes much of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties between Los Angeles and California’s border with Arizona and Nevada — communities rose from dirt piles and orange groves, creating jobs and neighborhoods filled with people priced out of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, or looking to escape louder, less-safe cities.

But a region that thrived almost solely on development has fallen mightily. Building permits for properties valued at a record $12.5 billion were issued in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties in 2005; in 2008, the figure was $3.8 billion, according to John Husing, an economist whose expertise is Southern California.

“You have to think of it like a gold-mining town in a Clint Eastwood movie,” Mr. Husing said. “Money comes to a place where there has never been any, and next there are tool stores, a saloon, a general store and so on. But the saloon doesn’t exist without the gold mine, and the gold mine here was construction.”

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