Cutting Jobs

Efficiency, not endangered species, hurts timber employment.

Cutting more trees does not mean creating more jobs. That’s a point this blog has made at least a couple of times. And it’s the same point made today in an opinion piece in the Eugene Register-Guard. Automation, not spotted owls, decimated the Northwest’s forest jobs. By the same token, weakening the Endangered Species Act and opening up roadless areas for logging will not herald a new era of timber employment.

Here’s the crux of the article:

In 1979, it took 4.5 workers to mill 1 million board feet of lumber. By 1989, it took just two workers to mill the same 1 million board feet.

Economists called it increased efficiency. Mill owners called it increased productivity. Millworkers called it unemployment. Merchants in mill towns called it bankruptcy.

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  1. kelly hockema says:

    Hmmmm…Why are the liberals so uninformed? So with the argument you got going there you would support then the immediate de funding of all local schools and in efficient county road departments that receive appropriated funds and have since spotty was listed 21 long years ago?

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