It's no secret that our beautiful little corner of California has some serious problems that we have no intention of fixing. You've heard me talk about it, from the homeless, crime and free needle programs, to the high taxes and a city government that will contort itself into any unpopular decision, as long as it will result in grant money from the state. The big grant money from the upcoming destruction of H and I streets, and the eventual Devastation of several Parking Lots for ugly Mega housing complexes, are a couple recent examples.
But one of the few good things that keeps our economy going, are those people leaving urban southern California in search of a better life in the redwood paradise. Many of them can afford to buy property and spend a lot of money building new homes, new upgrades, renovations. In many case they have lots of money for home building because they sold their prior homes in Los Angeles or The Bay Area for a ridiculously high price.
This new money is great for Humboldt because it employs contractors, finds its way into retail, grocery stores and all throughout our local economy. I am certainly not complaining.
But even this gift is now finding itself on shaky ground, and the reason is ironic, when you consider where we live.
The price of lumber is way too high!
Prices rose by more than 250% in the last year, according to Business Insider. The National Association of Home Builders say on average that means more than $24,000 is added to the price of the average single-family home. I think for Humboldt the costs are quite a bit more than that. (1)
The national news plays defense when you search for information on this topic, online news articles are quick to blame corona virus for the rising lumber prices and not Mr. Biden. I don't know about you, but I think President Trump would have found a way to keep lumber prices down and supply up. He had a way of getting things done, usually by relaxing regulations. Mr. Biden is hopeless to act on this issue, because the environmental radicals are firmly in control of his Party.
Which is a shame, because Humboldt County was literally founded by Lumber Companies. Look at our history, dozens of mills, some of them only lasting for 5 to 10 years. There are complete ghost towns, taken over by trees where logging used to be a way of life for our area.
And there is your irony of the year. Perhaps the one thing we need to triumph as a county, the one thing our economy needs to overcome a greedy Sacramento and a clueless city hall. We need timber, and we can't get it. We need the retirees and the former urbanites and suburbanites that are moving from crime ridden cities to make a new life in Humboldt County. We need not only their money but also their energy. New ideas and action to help us get out of the rut where we find ourselves. We have timber all over the place, it's just not for sale.